How Global Migration Changes the Workforce Diversity Equation



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A global, interdisciplinary conference

Friday, May 31 | 1:00PM - 6:00PM

Saturday, June 1, 2013 | 9:00AM - 5:15PM

Faculty Center - UCLA Campus


UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment and co-sponsored by ADAPT —the Association for International and Comparative Studies in the field of Labour Law and Industrial Relations
School/Institution Cosponsors:
UCLA International Institute, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA Institute of American Cultures, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, the UCLA Office for Faculty Diversity & Development


Program & Department Cosponsors:
UCLA Program on International Migration, UCLA Anderson: Management and Organization Area, UCLA Asian American Studies Department, UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies


The increase in migration flows that took place in the last two decades deeply changed the composition of the workforce in many countries and sharpened the national and international debate about migrants in the labor market.


Today the topic is high on the policy agenda in many countries, for several reasons. First, labor market integration is arguably the most important condition for ensuring full and autonomous participation by immigrants in the society. However, the scale of migration and racial, ethnic, and religious differences of migrants raise new challenges.  Second, in the context of demographic aging, many countries are experiencing labor and skill shortages. To tackle this, it has become important to better value the existing skills of some immigrants, and to find ways to upgrade the skills of others. The transferability and recognition of qualifications and work experience that were acquired in different contexts in the countries of origin thus become a relevant issue. Third, there is a persistent perception that migrants compete with native workers, especially those from less advantaged groups.  Finally, immigrants have been among the groups hardest hit by the difficult labor market situation following the economic downturn of 2008-09. This is particularly true in western economies that are major destinations for international migrants. Governments, institutions, social partners and enterprises must play key roles in strengthening labor standards for migrants, as well as natives, at the macro and micro levels.


The conference aims at contributing to the current debate and attaining a better understanding of the causes, consequences and possible responses to these issues on a global scale, through an interdisciplinary and comparative approach.  This conference will bring together scholars studying immigration, workforce diversity, and the intersection of the two from the United States, Europe, and around the world. The goal is not just to exchange information, but to advance discussions about strategies and solutions.