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A Crucial Testing Ground

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Abstract

European societies are currently facing serious challenges in responding to a large and growing demand of long-term care services. To a varying, but overall substantial, extent this increasing demand is satisfied through migration, with migrant women workers representing everywhere a considerable share of the workforce available in the care sector. In this paper two key questions arising from these observations will be addressed: What has been the specific role of migration in addressing labour shortages in the care sector across Europe? And, secondly, what are the drivers of the different immigration policy approaches adopted? Drawing on EU-LFS data I will describe the main entry channels of migrant care workers, also distinguished by skill and occupational level, to highlight the specific immigrant labour supply policy mix adopted by national governments. Recent theories of managed migration policies will be critically assessed to ultimately discuss their ability to explain the immigrant labour supply policy mix in the care sector.

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Correspondence to Ester Salis.

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Keywords

  • care
  • migrant workers
  • immigration policies
  • managed migration
  • care regimes
  • Italy
  • Europe