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Migration and the future of work

March 29, 2023
9:30 AM EDT - 6:00 PM EDT
Campus Condorcet, Centre des Colloques, auditorium 150, Paris, France

International Workshop Co-Convened by Institut Convergences Migrations (ICM), CERC Migration at Toronto Metropolitan University, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The future of work will be shaped by a range of technological, political, and social changes that are already creating both threats and opportunities for recent and established migrants and their labour-market trajectories. Advanced digital technologies have shifted how global talent is recruited, selected, and managed and have led to the creation of new opportunities for migrants (e.g., providing support in the workplace, matching job seekers to employment opportunities, and creating new ways of defining, assessing, and developing skills). At the same time, such technologies may create and exacerbate precarious and atypical working conditions, including those presented by digital platforms on the gig-work economy (e.g., Uber and Taskrabbit). The picture is quite complex, as recent research has shown that non-standard jobs in the platform economy may provide a point of entry for new immigrants and that immigrant earnings gaps among non-standard or contingent workers are smaller than those among workers in standard jobs. Whether these jobs are a bridge to upward mobility, however, is a question that needs to be answered with further analysis.

This workshop examined the many intersections between advanced digital technologies and the labour-market integration of migrants. Presenters interrogated the role of advanced digital technologies in different immigration-cycle stages, from recruitment and employment to post-migration integration and skills recognition.  

9:30 -10:30 AM EDT

Roundtable — The Governance of Labour Migration and Advanced Digital Technologies: Challenges and Opportunities

  • Anna Triandafyllidou, Toronto Metropolitan University and fellow at ICM
  • Jean-Christophe Dumont, OECD
  • Niels Van Doorn, University of Amsterdam
  • Felicitas Hillmann, Technische Universitat Berlin
10:30-11:00 AM EDT Coffee break
11:00 AM-1:00 PM EDT

Panel I: Digital Nomads and Placeless Work

Chair and Panel  (PDF file) Keynote Introduction: Felicitas Hillmann, Technische Universität Berlin

First pleasure, then work? Digital nomads, location independence, and the changing meaning of work | Mari Toivanen, University of Helsinki  (PDF file) Abstract

Good jobs or bad? Immigrant workers in the gig economyCathy Yang Liu and Rory Renzy, Georgia State University  (PDF file) Abstract

Travel bloggers as digital nomads: What could this privileged form of migration mean for the future of work? | Nina Willment, University of York, United Kingdom  (PDF file) Abstract

Relative downward mobility among digital nomads from developing countriesShahanaz Parven, University of Palermo  (PDF file) Abstract

1:00-2:30 PM EDT Lunch
2:30-5:00 PM EDT

Panel II: Migrant Workers in the Gig Economy

Chair and Panel  (PDF file) Keynote Introduction: Niels van Doorn, University of Amsterdam

Not all platform work is equal: Migrants’ experiences of self-determination in relational and non-relational gig work | Laura Lam and Anna Triandafyllidou, CERC Migration, Toronto Metropolitan University  (PDF file) Abstract

Visa categories in platform labour: The working-holiday visas fuelling Berlin’s gig economy | Barbara Orth, Freie Universität Berlin  (PDF file) Abstract

Riding in the dark: The algorithmic-bureaucratic precarization of migrant food-delivery workers in Italy | Gianluca Iazzolino, University of Manchester; Eleonora Celoria, University of Torino; Amarilli Varesio, University of Milano-Bicocca  (PDF file) Abstract

The case of Venezuelan migrants working for delivery platforms in Colombia and Peru | Stephanie López, Equilibrium, Centro para el Desarrollo Económico  (PDF file) Abstract (opens in new window) 

The silence(s) of migration in Sweden’s policy on the gig/platform economy | Natasha A. Webster, Stockholm University and Qian Zhang, Stockholm University  (PDF file) Abstract

5:00-6:00 PM EDT Reception