Migration and development need to be considered in tandem. Effective and lasting results can be achieved only if international cooperation on migration issues incorporates the interests of migrants as well as those of origin and destination countries. Our work aims to help implement this triple-win approach in Germany and abroad.
The trajectory of demographics in Germany will soon result in skilled-labor shortages in certain industries and regions. At the same time, many countries of the global south face a growing number of people of working age without feasible employment prospects in their domestic labor market. Matching these needs driven by contravening demographic forces offers the opportunity to institute a new migration policy that advances global sustainable development in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This involves promoting fair migration through a coherent policy roadmap anchored in the triple-win interests of migrants, origin and destination countries. Our work with the Migration Strategy Group on International Cooperation and Development (MSG), the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and Global Skill Partnerships aims to advance the triple-win approach.
Migration Strategy Group on International Cooperation and Development (MSG)
In order to ensure the triple win, national governments must pursue a coherent policy roadmap that links migration, development, labor market and other policy areas. We aim to strengthen these efforts through the MSG, which we coordinate in cooperation with the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the German Marshall Fund. The MSG offers a platform for open, ongoing dialog between representatives of federal ministries, international organizations as well as non-state actors working on issues relevant to migration. As a forum for cross-sectoral and inter-ministerial exchange, the MSG has focused on identifying model approaches, both in Germany and abroad, to coherent migration planning that is underpinned by development goals.
Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)
In the coming decades, forced and voluntary migration will remain a key challenge in our increasingly globalized world. We urgently need the international community to develop effective approaches to managing migration that yield long-term mutual benefits for all stakeholders. Working to develop cross-border solutions, the GFMD brought together thought leaders from more than 150 countries to debate migration planning and development prospects. GFMD activities were based on three forums of exchange: Government Days (for government representatives), the Common Space program (for international civil society stakeholders), and the Business Mechanism Meeting (for the private sector). The Bertelsmann Stiftung supported each element by contributing ideas and promoting exchange across fora. In 2017 and 2018, the GFMD was jointly chaired by Germany and Morocco; the focus was on efforts to strengthen civil society, the Global Compact on Migration as well as on the north-south dialog on transnational vocational training partnerships (Global Skill Partnerships).
Global Skill Partnerships
The concept of Global Skill Partnerships has drawn attention for several years in debates regarding the development effects of migration policies. This approach, as proposed by Michael Clemens of the Center for Global Development, involves promoting qualification opportunities in shortage professions by targeting investment in skills-training infrastructures in origin countries. In countries of origin, trainees enter either the “home track” for positions in their domestic labor market, or the “abroad track” which, in addition to professional qualifications, also covers language courses, integration preparation courses, etc.; thus smoothing the path to migration.
Can international cooperation, which starts with development and not the recruitment of skilled workers, effectively address skilled-worker needs and demands while opening up legal channels for migration? We explore these questions in our feasibility study that draws on current experiences with international vocational training cooperation and on-the-ground research in the potential partner countries of Morocco and the Philippines. The present German-Moroccan chair of the GFMD explicitly referenced the Global Skill Partnerships during the GFMD summit in December 2018.