Strategic approaches to migration

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Co-financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals

3. Strategic approaches to migration

3.1 Understanding migration locally

It is important that at local level you think about how migration impacts upon the decisions you make.  As migration is a key aspect of population growth (and linked to wider economic growth), it is worth taking time to think about migration in the context of your local area.

This doesn’t have to mean that you have a formal, written policy on migration – although this may be useful. It just means that you need to have some way of strategically thinking about how migration fits in with all of the other decisions you take. 

For example, decisions about housing, schools, health services and many other services are often driven by a detailed understanding of the population in the area.  Migration needs to form part of that understanding.

Decisions about how you deliver services also need to be driven by an understanding of the populations you serve.  Thinking of the needs of migrants as part of those decisions is important.  It is particularly important to understand the services or types of service delivery that migrants need, and how these needs are met currently.

It is also important to remember that migrant lives and experiences are as complex and diverse as those of local residents.  Complex equality and diversity issues (associated with, for instance, gender, age, ethnic origin, sexual orientation and disadvantage) intersect with additional issues related to nationality and language to impact on migrant experiences in a variety of ways.  

As local authority areas all work in very different contexts, these decisions need to be made at local level.  Responding well to migration might require strong cross-departmental and interagency working.  It is worth thinking about:

Your demographic situation:
Is your area’s total population increasing or decreasing?
Here’s where you can find out

Is your area’s working age population increasing or decreasing, as a proportion of the total population?
Here’s where you can find out

The diversity of your area
How many migrants live in your area?  What is the profile of the migrant population?
Here’s where you can find out

The needs of migrants
What do migrants to your area say they need?  What skills do they have?  How can you work jointly with migrants to build on these skills?
Here’s where you can find out 

Find out more

Ongoing research at the University of Glasgow is exploring ways in which lesbian, gay and bisexual migrants’ decisions and experiences relating to migration link (or not) to issues of sexual orientation, gender, social class, nationality and migrant status.