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1 Refugee and Migration Policy in the European Union: towards a new approch ? Cicero Foundation, Paris 18-19 November 2004 New trends within OECD countries.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Refugee and Migration Policy in the European Union: towards a new approch ? Cicero Foundation, Paris 18-19 November 2004 New trends within OECD countries."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Refugee and Migration Policy in the European Union: towards a new approch ? Cicero Foundation, Paris November 2004 New trends within OECD countries to encourage the international migration of highly skilled workers: overview and challenges Jean-Christophe Dumont OECD

2 2 Purpose and Scope This presentation aims at reviewing the recent changes in the international mobility of the highly skilled focusing on the role and limits of migration policies in OECD countries. The first part will describe how most OECD countries have recently adapted their immigration policies to facilitate the recruitment of highly skilled foreign workers The second part will present the main limits of these policies The conclusion will address briefly the potential impacts on developing countries OECD Directorate for Employment Labour and Social Affairs, DELSA

3 3 Economic context and policy responses In the late 90s employers reported labour shortages … in highly skilled occupations … … as well as for semi and low skilled jobs Labour shortages had many causes including (i) economic boom, (ii) rapid technological changes, (iii) mismatch between supply and demand of labour, (iv) lack of labour mobility, (v) structural rigidities in the labour market and (v) overestimation of the needs. Most OECD countries responded, inter alia, by adapting their migration policy to facilitate the recruitment of foreign qualified labour … … because short term solutions were needed and because the more the better OECD Directorate for Employment Labour and Social Affairs, DELSA

4 4 Selective employment-related immigration policies in OECD countries OECD countries faced similar needs for highly skilled workers … but responded by different types of policies such as Despite recent changes in the economic business cycle, these policies have not been challenged significantly Adapting selective migration policies (Canada, Australia) Introducing or reviewing specific migration programs (Germany, UK, USA, Norway) Creating labour shortage occupation lists (UK, Australia, Ireland) Easing labour recruitment (France, Japan, Korea) and changes of status Creating special incentive for recruiting highly skilled workers OECD Directorate for Employment Labour and Social Affairs, DELSA

5 5 former Soviet-Union republics Russia Ukraine EU Countries Settelment countries « Cascade » Migration other NIC Cuba United States South Africa United Kingdom New ZealandAustralia Canada Rural International mobility of doctors

6 6 International migration of the highly skilled in figures OECD Directorate for Employment Labour and Social Affairs, DELSA

7 7 Potentialities and limits Past experiences in migration policies for the recruitment of foreign labour demonstrate the positive role that can be played by foreign workers, especially during periods of strong economic growth … … but also underline some of the limits to such policies, which relate mainly to : Identification and selection of suitable foreign workers Implementation and adaptability of employment related migration programs Efficiency and external constraints OECD Directorate for Employment Labour and Social Affairs, DELSA

8 8 Taking into account the potential impact on origin countries … Better sharing the benefits of the international mobility of the highly skilled : a shared responsibility between sending and receiving countries Efficiency : facilitating the international mobility Ethics: considering the potential negative impacts (code of conduct) Equity: sharing the cost of human capital investment Sustainability : improving the management of human resources in sending and receiving countries OECD Directorate for Employment Labour and Social Affairs, DELSA

9 9 … especially in small and LD countries OECD Directorate for Employment Labour and Social Affairs, DELSA

10 10 Conclusion Although it is hard to gauge the nature and size of labour shortages, research stresses short term and long term needs for skilled labour From the point of view of OECD countries, employment-related immigration policies will be effective only within limits. As migration alone can not alleviate the impact of population ageing it wont resolve labour market failures. Current efforts to introduce a raft of measures to tap existing labour reserves in OECD countries should therefore be encouraged and pursued. Furthermore, the potential impacts of selective migration policies on origin countries needs to be better taken into account and the coherence between migration and international cooperation policies to be significantly strengthened. OECD Directorate for Employment Labour and Social Affairs, DELSA


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