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CORDIS - Resultados de investigaciones de la UE

Growth, Equal Opportunities, Migration and Markets

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - GEMM (Growth, Equal Opportunities, Migration and Markets)

Período documentado: 2016-09-01 hasta 2018-12-31

The GEMM project, funded by the European Commission in the framework of the H2020 programme, delivered an assessment of labour market inequalities of migrants and minorities in Europe. A specific focus has been placed upon highly skilled migrants to Europe, who do not always find jobs in which their skills are used most effectively. By understanding the drivers of these inequalities and determining how institutional factors account for differences between countries, we provided recommendations of great practical and policy relevance. The goals have been achieved through using different research methods - experiments, in-depth interviews and statistical analyses of existing data - and through considering different determinants - individual, contextual and institutional. In this way, it has been possible to compare integration processes and outcomes over different countries in Europe, and highlight the factors that help to successfully integrate migrants and minorities in the host country labour market - to the benefit of both minorities and the majority population.
The GEMM project has five objectives.
Objective 1 (WP2). To outline the factors related to the successful labour market incorporation of migrants.
Objective 2 (WP3). To contribute to the scholarly knowledge of the causes of discrimination, by carrying out a truly comparable cross-national analysis of ethnic discrimination in the European labour market.
Objective 3 (WP4). To better understand the ability of EU societies to attract human capital by capturing the ‘lived’ experiences of prospective and established migrants in different countries; and by comparing the experiences of mobile EU citizens with highly skilled non-European migrants.
Objective 4 (WP5). To analyse how institutional arrangements can reduce ethnic inequality and enhance the two drivers of growth in order to realise a competitive and innovative European labour market.
Objective 5 (WP6). To formulate a set of policy lessons informed by the empirical evidence and our analysis of institutional arrangements.

We have achieved all our Objectives.

Some results that need highlighting:
We find that migrants who arrived seeking protection experience the largest gaps in terms of employment and activity compared to similar natives, followed by migrants arriving for family reasons, while economic migrants experience far lower gaps. In terms of occupational status there is less difference and economic migrants arriving without a contract do similarly poor as non-economic migrants as well as not experiencing the same improvement over time. The gap of non-economic migrants does close with years of residence which is due to these migrants investing more in the host country by taking further courses, improving their language skills, or naturalising. We also show these investments have higher returns for non-economic migrants. This means further investments in more disadvantaged non-economic migrants can help improve their labour market integration substantially (WP2).

The field experiment suggest that migrants and minorities experience discrimination in all five countries included in the field experiments: Norway, UK, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands. Detailed briefings are available for individual countries (WP3).

Upward, downward and horizontal work trajectories which were observed during the study suggested the importance of the sources of support for migrants’ work careers. Being in possession with a job-offer prior to departure, opportunities for additional education and training in the host country, access to local language courses, stable integration into professional and social networks, in short, high levels of human capital are undoubtedly beneficial to migrants in the context of the countries of reception. Underlining the role of education, we should particularly stress the significance of EU educational initiatives such as the Lifelong Learning Programme and Erasmus Plus for the adaptation and career growth of migrants (WP4).

There is a moderately strong negative correlation between the inclusiveness of migration and integration policies, i.e. countries with restrictive immigration policies tend to have more inclusive integration policies and vice versa. This points towards a trade-off between the two policy fields that is also highly relevant for labor-market integration. When countries (e.g. Canada) have restrictive immigration policies that select migrants on favorable human capital characteristics (education, specific skills, prior language knowledge) they are able to afford inclusive integration policies that grant rights to immigrants quickly and with minor conditions. Countries that have more open immigration policies (such as many continental European countries), tend to have the opposite mix: being unable to select migrants on favourable labour-market characteristics prior to migration, they are more likely to be demanding in regard to language and labour-market performance as conditions for granting access to rights. Awareness of this trade-off is highly important in designing adequate responses to current migration and integration challenges (WP5).

We have already published in the European Sociological Review, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, International Migration review, a special issue in Social inclusion, with another Special issues in Social Inclusion and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies in preparation. We have organized roundtables and communicated extensively the results of this research.
The GEMM project produced research that is highly usable for policy makers.We achieved our goals by implementing an innovative methodological framework that considers different determinants of inequality as a barrier to the smooth functioning of local labour markets. We included multiple units of analysis - the (migrant) individual (WP2 and WP4), the receiving society employers (WP3) and the societal context (WP2 and WP5). Thus, we offered multidimensionality, the consideration of various explanatory mechanisms and causal paths. Moreover we highlighted that migrant and minority individuals are embedded in a social and institutional context, which affects ethnic inequality and thus the labour market opportunities in Europe. Our analyses were used to visualize areas of labour market disadvantage experienced by groups and individuals that need targeted attention with policies from both national and local governments in more than 15 briefings available through our website The reports that we delivered offer a comprehensive perspective on how migration can contribute to growth in Europe.

More than 20 articles have already been published or are in the process of being published. Further details are available through our GEMM website which is constantly updated. We continue to disseminate widely our results through press releases and blog posts.