Reimagining Skilled Migration Partnerships to Support Development

Kate Hooper
Date of Publication: 
September, 2018
Source Organization: 
Migration Policy Institute

This report envisions a new form of partnership between immigrant sending and receiving countries to provide skill training opportunities in sending countries comparable to the training standards found in the receiving country. Graduates of such programs might remain in the home country or migrate to the receiving country. Through this type of partnership, people in both countries would benefit by relieving skill shortages in receiving countries and by training a cadre of skilled professionals to work in the home country. The cost of providing this type of training would be significantly less in the sending country than in the receiving country. The final text of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, released in July 2018, urges the development of this type of partnership. The report spells out the differences between this type of approach and the “more traditional” partnership model, which provides short-term supplemental training or work experience to people trained in the home country. The newer approach operates on a longer time frame, targets students rather than graduates, provides benefits to both migrants and non-migrants alike, raises the quality of education provided in the home country, and has spin-off development benefits. One model that deserves attention, both for what it has achieved and what it has not, is the Australia-Pacific-Technical College that provides courses in subjects such as construction, engineering, and hospitality through several universities in the Pacific Islands. The report concludes with recommendations as to: (1) which sectors to target, (2) how to bridge skill gaps, (3) how to share costs equitably, and (4) how long these programs should run. (American Immigration Policy Portal)

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Hooper, K. (2018). Reimagining Skilled Migration Partnerships to Support Development. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute. Available at