Most OECD countries’ immigration policies focus on high-skilled immigrants, which has allowed for labour shortages to develop in lower-skilled industries. To satisfy these shortages, many countries use temporary work permit programs, to recruit the needed workforce on a temporary basis. This practice has proved problematic for many OECD countries.
“Constructing a country’s migration policy on the assumption that labour immigrants will only stay for a short time is not the way to go. It is neither efficient nor workable,” says OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria. “Mastering migration will bring us a big step closer towards making globalization work for everyone. Tailoring immigration to future needs is vital. But it is also vital to treat it as an economic and social phenomenon which, if well managed, can provide solutions to some of our present challenges.”
About 4 million people immigrated to OECD countries in 2006 on a permanent basis; 44 per cent of which were motivated by family reunification and 14 per cent by employment.