Overall trends in stocks and flows and the role of large employersJohn Salt Migration Research Unit, Department of Geography, University College London, UK.
Estimated population of overseas nationals resident in London, by nationality, 2011
Tier 2 certificates of sponsorship by routes of entry, 2009-2011 (percentage) Source: UKBA
Tier 2 certificates of sponsorship by 3-digit level occupation, 2009-2011 (percentage) Source: UKBA
The impact of the recession In line with national evidence, levels of mobility were generally reduced Long term assignments often continued as before, especially when supporting strategic goals, e.g: energy exploitation or consultancy market development. In most cases immediate response was to seek mobility cost savings, rather than changing basic international networks. Critical attention was focused on the reducing travel and remuneration costs and selecting assignees more carefully. Senior and specialist staff moves, with a clear business imperative, were less affected than those of more junior staff, where career development might have been a consideration. Some of these changes are likely to survive the recession: Reliance onvirtual exchange; greater selectivity in assignment planning, and localisation of recruitment and training
Conclusions: Recession hastening the decline of the traditional ‘colonial model’, as MNEs switch business to emerging markets, increase use of virtual exchange and selective business travel, and incorporate non-US/UK affiliates into global labour pools. Recession accentuated need for reducing mobility costs, and revealed scope for doing do in adverse commercial and technological conditions. A reduced exchange between the UK and US and increase with the Rest of the World – especially in market driven sectors. Possible reduced role for the UK in international corporate expertise exchange, as developing markets become more self-sufficient and even dominant in business and technical skills. The recession has led to short and medium term rebalancing of mobility portfolios, which may lead to more permanent changes in mobility volumes and geographies.