Monday 23 July 2018
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ZongoNews Radio

ZONGONEWS EDITORIAL: International Migrant Destinations – ( Part 23 )

Work as a concept is and interesting one, what is work? In a child’s dictionary it is described as something that you have to do that needs effort or energy, or a person’s work is their job, at school your work is something you write or produce, to be at work is to be working. I believe that what is missing from this definition is the concept of working to become the best expression of who you are and the gifts you have. Is working doing something or becoming someone or is it both?

Last week we began to look at the employment of second-generation migrants, those who are born to parents where one or both are not native to the country; they live in a country that they were not born in. As we continue to explore this theme we look at migration and self-employment, working for oneself.

In 2016 the International Labour Organisation (ILO) published a comprehensive document called Non-Standard Employment Around the World, which seeks to understand the challenges faced by this type of employment and the implications for future policy making. Four types of non-standard employments were outlined; Temporary employment including fixed term contracts, Part-time and on-call work including zero-hours contracts, multi-party employment relationship which includes subcontracted labour and fourthly, disguised employment / dependent self-employment which includes misclassified self-employment. Unfortunately this last category has an incredibly negative portrayal of self-employment, I can only assume that this definition does not include those who are legitimate self-employed business owners and entrepreneurs.

The disproportionate amount of migrants that find themselves to be overqualified or over-skilled for the employment positions that they hold in their new place of residence has been well documented. Countries and Non Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) are attempting to address these issues, which go far beyond administration and are seated within culture, behaviours and expectation.

In 2016 a Eurostat study analysed a 2014 European Union (EU) Labour Force Survey to ascertain the employment conditions of immigrants between the ages of 25-54 years of age and their descendants. It emerged that of those that were self-employed, 18.9% were EU native-born with a native-born background, 16.7% were first generation EU migrants of EU origin and 15.5% were first generation non-EU migrants. The study indicated that second-generation migrants were the least likely to be self-employed with data ranging from 14.6% EU migrants to 11.5% non-EU migrants. There were of course differences from country to country; interestingly it was found that in Hungry self-employment of first generation migrants born outside of the EU was 23.3% and the native population with a native background 11.1%. It must however be remembered that these statistics are a snap shot in time and the 244 million migration picture of today is in a constant state of change.

The preface of the ILO Non-Standard Employment Around the World document concludes by saying, “The changes in the world of work have brought forth new challenges and hardened old ones; the Organisation must prepare itself if it is to respond effectively to them as is pursues its mandate for social justice during this second century”.

How true.

Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants LTD

Source:Lesley Shepperson /