E.g., 06/21/2024
E.g., 06/21/2024
Exploring New Legal Migration Pathways: Lessons from Pilot Projects

As EU Member States begin to embark on a new set of legal migration pilot projects with countries in Africa, they would do well to assess the mixed results of earlier bilateral partnerships. Arrangements that offer would-be migrants temporary training or work placements in the destination country hold promise: They encourage skills development useful upon return while also helping employers fill gaps and potentially serving as an alternative to illegal migration.

This Transatlantic Council on Migration report reviews the limitations of past pilot projects involving countries in Europe, Africa, and the Asia Pacific, with an eye to making future ones more successful. The author offers a range of recommendations for how policymakers should consider labor-market needs and development goals in order to implement effective legal migration partnerships.

This study recommends that policymakers prioritize deals with countries that are willing and able to manage migration and their labor markets. It also suggests the focus should be on labor-market sectors at origin and destination that have complementary supply and need for workers. And these pilot projects should ensure the provision of high-quality technical job and language training that both meet employer needs and build essential skills that can benefit the labor migrants in the long run.

Table of Contents 

I. Introduction

II. The Mixed Record of Migration Pilot Projects

III. Building Pilot Projects that Facilitate Mobility

A. Whom to Partner With

B. Which Sectors to Target

C. How to Balance Investments in Training with Managing Costs

D. What Longer-Term Migration Opportunities to Offer

IV. Maximizing the Development Benefits of Labor Mobility

V. Conclusion