Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mixed attitudes towards migration and migrant workers in NI

11.03.2008
74 per cent of people in Northern Ireland welcome the fact other EU citizens can live and work in the region, but many are also worried about the additional strain this places on service provision.

The figures come from the 2006 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, undertaken by ARK, a joint research initiative between Queen’s University, Belfast, and the University of Ulster.

Tomorrow, (Tuesday, 11 March), Dr Chris Gilligan from Aston University, Birmingham will examine the survey’s findings, which have revealed people in Northern Ireland have mixed feelings about the rights of Eastern European migrants to live here, the contribution they make to society, and the strain they place on public services.

While almost three quarters of people (74 per cent) welcomed the fact other European Union (EU) citizens are free to live and work here, a similar proportion (73 per cent), felt the government should have placed restrictions on immigration from those Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004.

Strain on services

Many people thought the growth in numbers of migrant workers had put a strain on public services. 44 per cent thought the needs of migrant workers were putting a strain on schools. A majority (51 per cent) thought the number of migrant workers was leading to a shortage of local housing and a higher proportion (60 per cent) thought a strain was being put on the Health Service.

Positive contribution

The mixed feelings were evident in the fact many people also recognised the positive contribution migrant workers make to Northern Ireland. Over eight in ten (83 per cent) thought it was good migrant workers come to Northern Ireland to work as doctors and nurses when there is a shortage of medical staff. Two-thirds (67 per cent) thought migrant workers make Northern Ireland open to new ideas and cultures.

Dr Gilligan said: “The figures provide a very mixed picture of attitudes towards migrant workers. Clearly there are concerns about a strain being put on public services. The mixed responses to questions, however, means it is not so clear whether people in Northern Ireland blame the government or migrant workers for the strain on services.

“The fact that a significant majority of people think migrant workers make Northern Ireland more open to new ideas and cultures suggests that government might be better to shift the emphasis of policy away from cultural diversity awareness training and instead focus on the question of service provision.”

Employment

Ambivalence towards migrant workers is also evident on questions regarding jobs. Almost half (48 per cent) thought migrant workers take jobs away from people who were born in Northern Ireland. But more (80 per cent) thought migrant workers mostly take up jobs Northern Irish workers don’t want. And even more (85 per cent) thought employers take on migrant workers because they are prepared to work for lower wages than local workers.

Professor Robert Miller from Queen’s, Deputy Director of ARK, said: “These findings are being published as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Festival of Social Science 2008, a week of public events taking place throughout the UK to display the breadth of social science research. This is the only ESRC Festival event to take place in Northern Ireland, and it fits well with the ARK Project’s outreach work. The research report will be published in English, Polish, Lithuanian, Cantonese and Portuguese to make them as accessible as possible to the migrant population.”

Full results of all the questions from the 2006 Life and Times Survey are available on the website on www.ark.ac.uk/nilt as is the Migration and Migrant Workers in Northern Ireland report, at www.ark.ac.uk/publications

Notes for editor
1. The report on Migration and Migrant Workers in Northern Ireland will be presented by Dr Chris Gilligan at the ESRC Festival Seminar at 12noon on Tuesday 11 March at NICVA (Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action), 61 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast. The seminar is organised by ARK and is open to the media.

2. Requests to interview Dr Gilligan should be directed to Queen’s Press and PR Unit (details below). Dr Gilligan will be available for interview immediately following the seminar at approximately 1.15pm - 1.45pm.

3. The Life and Times Survey is a constituent part of ARK (www.ark.ac.uk) which makes social and political material based on Northern Ireland available to the widest possible audience. ARK is a joint research project between Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster.

4. The migrant worker questions on the 2006 Life and Times survey were funded by the Research Branch of the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

Lisa Mitchell | alfa
Further information:
http://www.qub.ac.uk/

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Satellite-based Laser Measurement Technology against Climate Change

17.01.2017 | Machine Engineering

Studying fundamental particles in materials

17.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>