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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