International and Internal Skilled Labour Migration and the City

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM (MDT)
Room: Astor Ballroom III, Astor, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Catherine Harris, Anne Green
Chairs: Anne Green


The economic performance of cities is increasingly dependent on the skills of their workforce. Cities face the challenge of both attracting and retaining high-skilled talent. Those cities that can offer businesses the high-skilled workers they need are likely to be the most successful. One of the important routes of contemporary knowledge transfer is via migration, particularly through skilled migration. These highly skilled individuals actively seek out opportunities in other countries, and cities and contribute to economic development with their skills and expertise, to fill shortages in the labour market.

Whilst international immigration has reached unprecedented levels and become a multifaceted phenomenon, there is an ongoing debate in population geography about a decline in rates of internal migration (Cooke, 2011; Shuttleworth and Champion, 2018). This is perhaps linked to the changing location and mobility decisions of dual career (/ dual earner) households (Green, 2017). At the same time, there is a clear separation between internal and international migration in the literature. However, recent thinking suggests that a link to be established understanding the intertwined nature of internal and international population movements (King and Skeldon, 2010). This is particularly important if cities are to gain from the knowledge transfer and skills that come with migration.

In response, this session will explore the implications of international and/or internal labour migration for cities, particularly in terms of a contribution to skills. As well as the impact of migration on cities, it will also consider the drivers of internal and international labour migration, or in fact the barriers that may prevent skilled migration taking place. Both empirical and conceptual contributions are welcome.

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

• How migration can address a skills gap;
• How cities might respond to the economic opportunities brought about by migration;
• How cities might respond to the economic challenges brought about by migration;
• Drivers of skilled migration;
• Barriers to skilled migration;
• The family impacts of geographical mobility;
• The role of intermediaries in migration;
• Filling the gap between international and internal migration;
• How labour migration and the city should be studied;
• What makes cities attractive to skilled migrants?
• Migration policy changes and skilled migration;


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Catherine Harris*, University of Birmingham, Natalia Vershinina, University of Birmingham, Aleksandra Kazlowska, University of Birmingham, Exploring skills and resources: the impact of Brexit on East European migrant businesses in the UK 20 8:00 AM
Presenter BAISHALI LAHIRI*, Centre for Women's Development Studies, Exclusionary Urbanism and Gendered Outcomes of Global Production Networks 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Sadhana Manik*, University of KwaZulu Natal, An enduring migration of the highly skilled from South Africa: Migrant teachers embracing transnational opportunities for decades 20 8:40 AM
Presenter Jörg Plöger*, ILS - Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development, Skilled Labour Migration and Cities – Investigating the Role of Grounded Employers 20 9:00 AM
Presenter Kathrine Richardson*, San Jose State University, Knowledge Borders: Temporary Labor Mobility and the Canada-US Border Region 20 9:20 AM

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