MPI Report Examines Global Trends, Challenges in Recognition of Foreign Qualifications

MPI Report Examines Global Trends, Challenges in Recognition of Foreign Qualifications

"There has been rapid growth in temporary and provisional migration as rising numbers of skilled professionals seek to migrate and transnational companies increasingly transfer personnel around the world. This skilled migration brings economic benefits but can pose significant challenges for national regulators who must decide whether these individuals are qualified to practice their occupations at destination. Maintaining occupational standards while accommodating the evolving patterns of mobility and facilitating the use of immigrants’ skills is a difficult task, and governments have struggled to meet the challenge. 

With an increasing role for employer-sponsored migration designed to fill specific vacancies immediately, more flexible pathways into regulated occupations have become increasingly attractive for governments, employers, and individual migrants. 

A new Migration Policy Institute report, Recognizing Foreign Qualifications: Emerging Global Trends, examines the qualifications assessment process for foreign workers in regulated occupations and identifies several emerging policies and trends driven in part by industry and employers. These include a push towards global qualifications in some fields, as well as partial or conditional recognition of foreign qualifications in others.

The report, by University of Melbourne migration expert Lesleyanne Hawthorne, argues that these more flexible ways to recognize qualifications have the potential to facilitate the flow of goods and services; enhance the efficiency of skilled migration programs; accommodate the fast-track entry of temporary labor; expedite transnational corporations’ global reach and mission; facilitate training to fill skills deficits; and reduce the level of skills wastage. 

This report, the third in a series examining credential recognition issues, was produced with the assistance of the European Union, through a 100,000 euro grant. 

Earlier reports in the series examined credential recognition in the engineering profession and the recognition of foreign qualifications in the United States. Next week, MPI will publish a policy overview of strategies to reduce brain waste and improve the recognition of foreign academic and professional credentials." - MPI, July 25, 2013.