High-skill mobility : addressing the challenges of a knowledge-based economy at times of crisis
Title: High-skill mobility : addressing the challenges of a knowledge-based economy at times of crisis
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS PP; 2013/14; Global Governance Programme; Cultural Pluralism
In the milieu of the current economic crisis, the most difficult challenge for high-skill migrants is their entry to and progression within the job markets of their host societies. Offering them the best opportunities for earning, career development and high quality of life; the OECD region remains the major zone of high-skill migration (HSM). There is a policy dilemma, however. On the one hand, the OECD countries need skilled migrants. On the other hand, the economic austerity caused by the global crisis demands that states introduce visa restrictions, which create shortages in specific sectors of the labour market and delay the after-crisis recovery. Moreover, immigration rules differ across nation-states and fluctuate over time. So are recruitment practices while migrating skilled workers desperately need employment security. In the light of all this, it seems reasonable to ask: What would be the optimal entry to the EU labour-markets for high-skilled third-country nationals at time of crisis? Examining the visa regimes for highly skilled migrants in four leading OECD countries, we propose several improvements in the current Blue Card scheme that would help attract and/or keep global talent in Europe meeting better the needs of the European labour market. We propose strengthening the link between higher education and access to the labour market at the EU level: graduates of PhD programmes in the EU should be entitled to stay in the EU with a 5 year permit provided they find a job within the 12 months following their graduation. This would enable their better insertion in the labour market and transfer to the EU long-term resident permit under the current 2003 directive and legislation. This reform would further boost the attractiveness of the higher education sector in EU countries, indeed an important “industry” in itself for European economies. It would also ensure that the prospective high skill workers have language fluency in the country’s language where they seek employment and are acquainted with administrative regulations and the overall culture of that country as they have lived in for one or more years as students.
Subject: High-skill migration; Europe; USA; Canada; Blue Card; OECD
Type of Access: openAccess