Effective Labour Migration Management:
Public Panel Debate
Brussels Launch of Martin Ruhs Book 'The Price of Rights'
Policymakers in major migrant-receiving countries are trying to attract and integrate migrant workers with the right mix of skills to support economic growth and demographic sustainability. At the same time, most recognise that developing home-grown talent has to be part of a viable growth strategy, as well as reducing the costs of immigration for public budgets and the local labour markets and societies. Striking a balance among these elements is all the more sensitive at a time of high unemployment, when public discontent has centred on immigration. Labour migration systems in advanced economies tend to be geared towards high-skilled migration. However, the persistent labour market demand for low- and medium-skilled workers still needs to be taken into account. This panel debate will bring together experts, policymakers, and social partners involved in the management of labour migration to discuss the various options available to policymakers when trying to design an 'optimally balanced' labour migration policy. Such a policy should be able to address both short- and medium-term migrant worker needs across the whole range of the skills spectrum while, at the same time, contribute to preserving fiscal sustainability and social cohesion in the long run.
During this session experts will dissect the likely future demand for immigrant workers at all skill levels and will discuss the labour market, social, and fiscal costs and benefits of both high- and lesser-skilled immigration. This session will ask the key questions: how can policymakers strike a balance between integrating migrant workers with the right mix of skills to support economic growth and demographic sustainability, and reduce the cost of immigration for public budgets and the local labour market and society? Can governments minimise the costs of immigration by limiting either access or rights for lower-skilled migrants? And what needs to be done today to forge a fair deal on talent in the medium term? It will also serve as the Brussels launch of Martin Ruhs’ book, The Price of Rights: Regulating International Labour Migration.
This session will bring the social partners' perspective into the debate and will attempt to assess the extent to which current labour migration systems are tailored to the needs of businesses and, at the same time, are able to protect and foster the labour and social rights of both migrant and native workers. A discussion of the regulations of intra-company transfers and of the challenges and opportunities for integrating labour mobility provisions into trade agreements will also be part of this session.
Moderator: Elizabeth Collett, Director, Migration Policy Institute Europe
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