Migration | VOL. 10, ISSUE 58, January-February 2010

Women, Work and Migration: Global Perspectives

The mobility of skilled labour has been part of transnational migratory movements since the 1960s. At that time skilled flows were primarily analysed in terms of brain drain, initially between First World countries and then from Third World countries to those in the First World. Although much of the literature saw the US as the beneficiary of brain drain migration it is clear that a number of those who moved to Europe during the major phase of labour migration were also skilled. It was the movement of skilled personnel in the science and technology sectors that was of concern. Nowadays skilled migration is back in the news as immigration regulations have increasingly become skill-selective. The skills that are ‘selected’ are those relating to the knowledge economy, particularly sectors such as finance, management and information and communication technology (ICT) which are seen as the key drivers for economic growth. India and China are two of the largest sending countries for skilled migrants currently. In the UK this skill selectivity has been consolidated in the ‘Points Based System’, which has been rolled out since 2008. In Australia there has been a gradual diminution of family stream migration in comparison to skilled migration category and the latter accounted for 61.1 per cent of the Migration Programme in 2002-2003, up from 57.5 per cent the year before. India is...

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