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MPC Webinar: “Rethinking Migrants’ Skills and Labour Immigration Policies”

Wednesday 8 April 2020 at 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm

From ‘low-skilled’ migrants to ‘key workers’: Rethinking migrants’ skills and labour immigration policies


A key question in labour immigration policy is how to select migrant workers for admission. Most high-income countries distinguish between low – and higher-skilled migrants: high-skilled migrants typically face fewer admission requirements and are given greater rights in the labour market and welfare state than low-skilled migrants. This distinction stems from the common assessment that higher-skilled migrants are more ‘beneficial’ and ‘valuable’ to the domestic economy and society of the host country. The current health emergency caused by the Coronavirus, and the associated socio-economic crises, have suddenly and rapidly challenged and disrupted some of these common assumptions and distinctions. Since the start of the health emergency a few weeks ago, many ‘low-skilled’ migrants have become ‘key workers’ in their host countries, now considered necessary and highly valued for their contribution to maintaining core state functions and public services such as health care, social care, public transport, food supply chains etc. These developments raise important new questions about how we conceptualise and measure skills as well as how different types of migrants and other workers are valued in the labour market and policy-making. The Webinar will discuss these new questions and provide reflections on the consequences for theory and research as well as public debates and policy-making.

Speakers and Format

Chair: Professor Andrew Geddes (RSCAS, EUI)
Presenters: Professor Bridget Anderson, University of Bristol
Professor Martin Ruhs (RSCAS, EUI) Dr Friedrich Poeschel (RSCAS, EUI)
Followed by Q&A

Register online and you will be sent details on how to join the Webinar.


Wednesday 8 April 2020
2:00 pm to 3:00 pm


Online webinar
View Venue Website


Migration Policy Institute
View Organiser Website

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