Essential? COVID-19 and highly educated Africans in Finland’s segmented labour market
Ndomo, Q., Bontenbal, I., & Lillie, N. A. (2023). Essential? COVID-19 and highly educated Africans in Finland’s segmented labour market. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 43(3/4), 339-355. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijssp-06-2022-0171
Published inInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
DisciplineYhteiskuntapolitiikkaFinnish University Partnership for International DevelopmentSocial and Public PolicyFinnish University Partnership for International Development
© Quivine Ndomo, Ilona Bontenbal and Nathan A. Lillie. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to characterise the position of highly educated African migrants in the Finnish labour market and to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on that position. Design/methodology/approach The paper is based on the biographical work stories of 17 highly educated African migrant workers in four occupation areas in Finland: healthcare, cleaning, restaurant and transport. The sample was partly purposively and partly theoretically determined. The authors used content driven thematic analysis technique, combined with by the biographical narrative concept of turning points. Findings Using the case of highly educated African migrants in the Finnish labour market, the authors show how student migration policies reinforce a pattern of division of labour and occupations that allocate migrant workers to typical low skilled low status occupations in the secondary sector regardless of level of education, qualification and work experience. They also show how the unique labour and skill demands of the COVID-19 pandemic incidentally made these typical migrant occupations essential, resulting in increased employment and work security for this group of migrant workers. Research limitations/implications This research and the authors’ findings are limited in scope owing to sample size and methodology. To improve applicability of findings, future studies could expand the scope of enquiry using e.g. quantitative surveys and include other stakeholders in the study group. Originality/value The paper adds to the knowledge on how migration policies contribute to labour market dualisation and occupational segmentation in Finland, illustrated by the case of highly educated African migrant workers. ...
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Related funder(s)European Commission
The content of the publication reflects only the author’s view. The funder is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Additional information about fundingThe authors acknowledge the financial assistance of a European Union, Horizon 2020 Research programme H2020-SC6- REVINEQUAL- 2017 Project reference: 770515.
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