E.g., 06/26/2024
E.g., 06/26/2024
Competing for Talent: What Role Can Employment- and Skills-Based Mobility Projects Play?

Many countries in Europe and beyond are contending with acute labor shortages and looking to immigration as one policy option to sustain and support economic growth, alongside efforts to retrain local workers and improve productivity. At the same time, lower- and middle-income countries with fast-growing populations are exploring ways to better link their nationals with economic opportunities at home and abroad. Legal migration pathways that connect unemployed workers in such countries with hard-to-fill jobs abroad are thus gaining interest in both origin and destination countries.

To date, however, employment- and skills-based mobility projects have encountered challenges in fully realizing their anticipated benefits. These include difficulties building up project infrastructure and securing private-sector engagement. As a result, many have facilitated the movement of small numbers of people.

This policy brief explores the case for employment- and skills-based mobility projects, looking at how different types of cooperation can support legal migration pathways, as well as common challenges these projects face. The brief also discusses strategies for achieving economies of scale and these projects' unique value—including the chance they offer to test new migration corridors or new recruitment models, while broadening cooperation opportunities with partner countries.

Table of Contents 

1  Introduction

2  The Case for Mobility Projects

3  Common Challenges

4  Strategies for Achieving Greater Scale and Impact

5  Conclusion and Recommendations