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Talent attractiveness

Talented and skilled individuals have a key role to play in a country’s future prosperity. They hold jobs that are key for innovation and technological progress, and ultimately contribute to stronger economic growth with other employment opportunities and better living conditions for all. OECD countries increasingly compete to attract and retain talented workers notably by adopting more favourable migration policies for the best and the brightest. This competition has led to a convergence of policy frameworks but significant differences in policies and practices remain. Beyond conditions for migration, many other factors contribute to shape the attractiveness of countries to foreign talent.

Migration: old phenomenon, new policies

Migration is nothing new. People have moved across communities, states and continents for millennia. In 2017, about 258 million people worldwide were living outside their country of birth, nearly half in OECD countries. The International Migration Outlook 2018 looks at who these migrants are and maps what is driving their flow into OECD countries, where an estimated 5 million new migrants settled permanently in 2017, representing a 5% drop from 2016 levels.  

Ian Goldin: “Renaissance 2.0: Globalisation, disruption and policy”

Ian Goldin is the Oxford University Professor of Globalisation and Development, the Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Technological and Economic Change and the founding Director of the Oxford Martin School.

Migration: What we think we want

We are far more open towards immigration than some people might have us believe, a new independent survey shows.

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We need to address the migration backlash

The public is losing faith in the capacity of governments to manage migration. Opinion polls in a wide range of countries suggest that the share of the public holding extreme anti-immigration views has grown in recent years and that these extreme views are more frequently heard in public debates. In part, this is due to the perception that no end is in sight for large migration inflows and that countries have lost control over them. 

refugees,unhcr,oecd,migration,development,Volker Türk
Refugees, facts and better policies

Over 65 million people, or one person in 113, were displaced from their homes by conflict or persecution in 2015. This troubling statistic comes from UNHCR–also known as the UN Refugee Agency–and was a higher number than at any time in the agency’s history. UNHCR signed a memorandum of understanding with the OECD in June 2016 to increase collaboration between the two organisations in addressing the problems that arise from such forced displacement, both for the people themselves and the communities that host and shelter them.

migration,oecd
Refugees are not a burden but an opportunity

When nearly a million Vietnamese “boat people” fled their country in the late 1970s and early 1980s and sought refuge elsewhere, they were typically seen as a burden and often turned away. Eventually, many were allowed to settle in the US. Most arrived speaking little or no English and with few assets or relevant job skills. Yet Vietnamese refugees are now more likely to be employed and have higher incomes than people born in the US.

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Europe will win from integration

The unfolding refugee crisis requires a bold, comprehensive and global response. At the same time, OECD countries should adapt their policies to foster the integration of those who are going to stay. While this implies significant up-front costs, it is also essential to reaping sizeable medium- to long-term social and economic benefits.

brazil, oecd, migration, ireland
From Goias to Galway

Brazilian Jobert Marinho stands in the doorway of his local gym, where he trains, in Gort, County Galway, November 2014. 

Help refugees integrate and contribute

At a joint high-level conference in Paris in January, the heads of the OECD and UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) called on governments to scale up their efforts to help refugees integrate and contribute to the societies and economies of Europe.

refugees, migration, asylum seekers, filippo grandi, unhcr
OECD and UNHCR call for scaling up integration policies in favour of refugees

In 2015, more than 1 million people crossed the Mediterranean Sea to look for international protection in Europe, and about 1.5 million claimed asylum in OECD countries. This is an all-time record and almost twice the number recorded the year before. Asylum seekers represent about 0.1% of the total OECD population, and less than 0.3% of the population in Europe.

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Photo exhibition at the OECD of the work of photojournalist Anne A.R.

Currently exhibiting at the OECD, the work of photojournalist Anne A.R. on Syrian refugees in Greece “I am with them” is a testimony of the lives of children, women and men searching for a better life as they escape the horrors of war. 

diaspora, emigrants, ireland, migration, workforce
Ireland's global workforce

The writer James Joyce was unique in many ways, but when he left Ireland in 1904, he was joining a tradition of expatriate Irish writers. Difficulty publishing at home in what was then a conservative country was one reason for his departure: in his 1912 poem, “Gas from a burner”, he referred to Ireland as “This lovely land that always sent Her writers and artists to banishment.” But Joyce also declared that after his death “Dublin” would be found inscribed on his heart. Today the word “Joyce” is in turn inscribed in Ireland’s own heritage.

diaspora, enda kenny, immigration, ireland, migration
Migration: A flexible return ticket

Today, bolstered by steady economic growth and an emerging confidence in Ireland’s future, the government is taking a new tack by fostering a bolder engagement towards emigration and the diaspora. 

migration, refugee crisis, oecd, angel gurria
Migration should be harnessed, not feared

We are facing an historic moment. By the end of this year, the number of people applying for asylum in the European Union will exceed 1 million. The human cost of this refugee crisis is appalling. Yet, in all but a handful of cases, the response of Europe’s governments has been tentative, at best: acknowledging the need to do more, while fearing the implications.

migration, refugee, migrant
We are entering a new era of migration

Even before the refugee crisis hit European countries, migration was at the top of the international policy agenda. All sides of such a sensitive debate have made appeals to people’s emotions, but there must also be room for facts to inform policy discussions. 

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Migration challenge

"European leaders must stand before history in dealing with this humanitarian tragedy. They have the experience and the capacity to respond to this emergency and chart the path for a long-term solution," said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría in a statement on a French-German refugee initiative issued Friday 4 September.

Are migrants settling in?
We must harness the true strength of migration
Migration and jobs: Is Europe’s labour market adjusting?

The question of whether or not migration, and in particular free mobility within Europe, can play a role in reducing unemployment is a highly topical one. In the EU, harmonised unemployment rates rose between 2007 and Q3 2014 from 7.2% to 10%.

Tolerance in crisis?

Immigration became a heated subject of debate during the European Parliament elections in May 2014. Economists are now asking whether anti-immigrant sentiment can be attributed to fiscal, as well as social, factors.

The impact of immigrants: It’s not what you think

In the land of tabloid terrors, immigrants loom large. Flick through the pages or online comments of some of the racier newspapers, and you’ll see immigrants being accused of stealing jobs or, if not that, of being workshy and “scrounging benefits”.    

Changing world of migration

While there has been progress in immigrant integration on many fronts, much remains to be done. The crisis has rolled back progress in some countries, so catching up is still the name of the game. Better policies mean better outcomes. The future depends on it, says the OECD.

See www.oecd.org/migration

©OECD Observer No 293 Q4 November 2012

Migration in a crisis

Migration into OECD countries fell by about 7% in 2009 to 4.3 million people, down from just over 4.5 million in 2008. Recent national data suggest migration numbers fell further in 2010, the 2011 International Migration Outlook says.

Migration, globalisation and gender:
Some key lessons

Just how significant is international migration in the light of other globalisation developments? One obvious starting point for answering the question is to ask how many of the current world population of 6.7 billion people are international migrants, defined as persons living outside their country of birth.