HOME AND AWAY: GLOBAL SKILL PARTNERSHIP AS EDUCATION-LABOR MOBILITY MODEL FOR THE NEW ERA?
Johns Hopkins University
It is now well accepted that there are substantial welfare gains from labor mobility for sending and receiving countries. However, host countries face strong political opposition to increased migration, which has led them to turn to policies that bring in labor but not migrants–temporary migrants that help fill labor shortages. This requires labor with skills and training congruent with jobs and work culture of receiving countries leading to calls for Global Skill Partnership (GSP), which introduces “home” and “away” tracks whereby trainees are absorbed by source and destination labor markets, respectively. Applying econometrics, field research and online interviews, survey-based statistical analysis, data science, and literature review, my dissertation estimates the effects of two GSPs that seek to address labor needs of high-income countries while providing jobs to labor in lower-income countries: Pilot Project Addressing Labour Shortages through Innovative Labour Migration (PALIM)–between Morocco and Belgium, which trains digital workers in the former; and Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC), which trains workers from the latter for various sectors (e.g., construction, tourism). Although PALIM was unable to place trainees in Belgium due in part to COVID-19, it met its other goal on domestic employment in Morocco. Participation in PALIM is associated with 30% increase in job search. It is mainly functioning for domestic employment thus far whose outcome and financial cost–and APTC’s financial cost–are consistent with those of trainings targeted only at domestic labor markets. COVID-19 made it less clear whether PALIM’s outcome was due to areas for improvement in the project design or other factors. Nevertheless, training in Morocco is more efficient than in high-income countries. While APTC achieved domestic employment in the Pacific, it is early days to evaluate whether it met its labor mobility goal given its recent prioritization as part of economic recovery from COVID-19. My comparative analysis of PALIM and APTC reveals that success factors in designing GSPs include: a) direct involvement of key stakeholders; b) capacity development of public labor market intermediaries or of regulatory bodies to ensure private recruiters operate ethically; c) co-investments; d) multi-faceted strategy against brain drain; and e) integration.
Global Skill Partnership, labor mobility, education, migration, Morocco, Belgium, Australia, Pacific