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 New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
07.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Because not only arguments count
30.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Fish recognize their prey by electric colors

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Ultrasound Connects

13.11.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>