Making Migration Work - Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het ...

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Making Migration Work - Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het ...

how to make migration work23it professionals, most of them Indian, entered the Netherlands (Vleugel 2011).Against all expectations, however, the influx has remained relatively small,certainly when compared to such countries as Sweden. Only 2.4 per cent ofthe Netherlands’ total labour force is a scarce or super skilled migrant worker(Chaloff and Lemaître 2009; Boston Consulting Group 2012). According toPapademetriou (present publication), the issue is no longer how Western countrieswill choose highly skilled migrants, but how they – the highly skilled –will choose us. How do we tempt the best and the brightest to come to theNetherlands?Papademetriou argues that many non-eu countries – in particular the fastgrowingeconomies – will soon be seeking to recruit talented foreigners as well.The eu Member States will not just be competing with China, India, Brazil orthe United States. Turkey, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa are also rapidlydeveloping into major competitors for international labour migration. The ‘battlefor brains’ is therefore set to become even fiercer in future.Many European countries have therefore developed policies supporting therecruitment of high-skilled labour migrants from outside the eu (Zinconeet al. 2011; Chaloff and Lemaître 2009). That is also true of the Netherlands,which has one of the most straightforward systems in the world for admittinghigh-skilled workers: migrants need only comply with an income requirementto be able to accept a job offer from a Dutch employer (indiac 2007; VanOers and Minderhoud 2012). In 2009, the eu introduced the Blue Card, meantto regulate the recruitment of high-skilled migrants from non-eu MemberStates. Companies can apply for a Blue Card (analogous to the usa’s GreenCard) if they wish to recruit knowledge workers from outside the eu. Becausemany countries were unwilling to transfer this authority to Brussels (UnitedKingdom) or have more lenient admission rules (Netherlands), the Blue Card isgenerally regarded as a failure (Cerna 2010).But a simplified, fast-track admissions procedure is not enough to recruitknowledge migrants. Papademetriou (present publication) identifies three setsof variables that can be used to encourage highly skilled migrants to migrate tothe European Union. In addition to a robust and invigorating knowledge infrastructure,he believes that the presence of other talented professionals is veryimportant. After all, talented people want to work with other talented people.The second set of variables consists of more general conditions, for examplea fair and generous social system (including the possibility of transferring accruedpension rights), an attractive lifestyle and environment, and a tolerantand safe society. The third set of variables – the immigration regime – playsonly a limited role in his view, an opinion also held by Lemaître, who claims

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