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Escalators, elevators and travelators: the occupational mobility of migrants to South-East England

Findlay, A.M. and Mason, C.M. and Houston, D. and McCollum, D. and Harrison, R.T. (2009) Escalators, elevators and travelators: the occupational mobility of migrants to South-East England. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 35 (6). pp. 861-879. ISSN 1369-183X

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Abstract

In a meritocratic society it is assumed that the chance of achieving occupational mobility (OM) is not strongly influenced by one's starting position in terms of class or ethnicity. This paper seeks to explain the drivers of the high levels of OM achieved by one ethnically defined group: the Scots. Educational attainment is shown to be particularly important. A second level of interest is the changing role of internal migrants to a global city in the face of increased international skilled immigration. We investigate whether there is any evidence that the OM of internal migrants is being hindered as a result. The evidence points instead to immobile local labour being more disadvantaged occupationally than mobile labour from peripheral regions of the state.