Migrants’ decision-process shaping work destination choice in long term care

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Escalating demands for formal long-term care (LTC) result in the reliance on migrant workers in many developed countries. Within Europe, this is currently framed by progressive European immigration policies favouring inter-European mobility. Using the UK and Norway as case studies, this article has two main aims: (1) to document changes in the contribution of European Union (EU) migrants to the LTC sectors in Western Europe, and (2) to gain further understanding of migrants’ decision-processes relating to destination and work choices. The UK and Norway provide examples of two European countries with different immigration histories, welfare regimes, labour market characteristics and cultural values, offering a rich comparison platform. The analysis utilizes national workforce datasets and data obtained from migrants working in the LTC sector in the UK and Norway (n = 248) and other stakeholders (n = 136). The analysis establishes a significant increase in the contribution of EU migrants (particularly from Eastern Europe) to the LTC sector in both the UK and Norway despite their different welfare regimes. The findings also highlight how migrant care workers develop rational decision-processes influenced by subjective perspectives of investments and returns within a context of wider structural migration barriers. The latter includes welfare and social care policies framing the conditions for migrants’ individual actions.

Christensen, K., Hussein, S. and Ismail, M. (2017) Migrant intelligence shaping work destination choice:  the case of long-term care work in the United Kingdom and Norway. European Journal of Aging. 14(3): 219-232.

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Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Professor Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.

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Director of Analytical Research Ltd, and Affiliate Research Fellow, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Mohamed is trained in engineering (MEng – Cairo University), computer science (MSc – Cairo University) and mathematical finance (MSc – CASS Business School, University of London). Mohamed started his career in in the City of London in 1990s, working as a quantitative analyst for leading global financial organisations, such as Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Mizuho and Credit Suisse, before he began to shift his focus onto quantitative social research. Since 2009, he has worked as an independent researcher in the field of social sciences with a particular drive to make use of different statistical and mathematical modelling techniques for the analysis of large and multi-dispersed data sets.

He has worked with universities in the UK, Europe, Australia and the Middle East; publishing a number of peer-reviewed articles. He has also been invited to give talks and presentations at several leading universities and organisations. His current research interests focus on exploring the potential role of mathematical dynamical systems in the field of population ageing across health and social care. Mohamed is the Director of Analytical Research ltd and an affiliate at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford.