Migration, Ethnicity and Progression from Low-Paid Work: Implications for Skills Policy

Gina Netto, Maria Hudson, Mike Noon, Filip Sosenko, Philomena De Lima, Nicolina Kamenou-Aigbekaen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Migration plays an important role in determining skills supply, and certain ethnic groups tend to be over-represented in low-paid work. This article considers the implications of the complex interplay of migration, ethnicity and workplace progression for skills policy by comparing and contrasting the opportunities faced by low-paid workers of diverse ethnicities in progressing to better paid work. This is done by drawing on a qualitative study of nine case study organisations in Scotland and England, including interviews with sixty-five workers and forty-three managers. We argue that while all low-paid workers face formidable barriers to progression, recent migrants and settled ethnic minorities face additional challenges that should be considered in skills and wider social policies related to low-paid work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-522
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Policy and Society
Issue number4
Early online date13 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • ethnicity
  • low-paid work
  • Migration
  • progression
  • skills policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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