Social networks and Polish immigration to the UK

This working paper forms part of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) Economics of Migration project. It looks at how Polish migrants have increasingly used social networks to find employment in the UK. Although this has allowed them to maintain high employment rates it brings a risk that migrants will be "locked in" to low-skilled jobs and less integrated into the wider economy and society. The integration policy agenda is currently focused on long term settlement but many migrants only come to the UK for a short period of time. The paper concludes with implications for policymakers and suggests that the benefits of any measures aimed at integration will be reduced if they are only effective over the long term. Initiatives that can have an immediate effect, such as a framework for recognition of foreign qualifications, could be more effective.

Madeleine Sumption
Institute for Public Policy Research