‘Flexible’ workers for ‘flexible’ jobs? The labour market function of A8 migrant labour in the UK

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    There is considerable academic and policy interest in how immigrants fare in the labour markets of their host economy. This research is situated within these debates and explores the nexus between migrant labour and segmented labour markets. Specifically the analysis focuses on East-Central Europeans in Britain: a sizeable cohort of largely economic and recent migrants. A large quantity of interviews with low-wage employers and recruiters is used to examine the role served by East-Central European migrant labour in the UK labour market, question whether this function is distinct from conventional understandings of the function of migrant labour and explore how employer practices and other processes ‘produce’ these employment relations. Based on the findings from this approach, an argument is developed which contends that the ready availability of a well perceived cohort of migrant labour has sustained and extended flexible labour market structures towards the bottom end of the labour market.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)427-443
    JournalWork, Employment and Society
    Issue number3
    Early online date17 Apr 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


    • A8 migration
    • Flexible labour markets
    • Labour migration


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