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Cultural Diversity in Hospitality Work: The Northern Ireland Experience

Devine, P.F. and Baum, T.G. and Hearns, N. and Devine, A. (2007) Cultural Diversity in Hospitality Work: The Northern Ireland Experience. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18 (2). 333 -349. ISSN 0958-5192

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International workers are a growing category of employees in the hospitality industry of Northern Ireland (NI). The retention and skills shortages of the industry are significant factors in facilitating this increase. Thus, international workers could be an invaluable new source of labour for the hospitality industry, provided that they are properly looked after and managed. However, little is known about the number of people moving to Northern Ireland to take up work in the hospitality industry. This paper sets out to answer some of the 'unknowns' - including nationality, demographic characteristics, educational, employment and economic background. The paper draws on data collected through a survey of migrant workers in nine hotels in Northern Ireland and focus groups with migrant employees in all of the survey establishments. Issues of social integration within the workforce and the wider community as well as the future that migrant workers see for themselves are discussed from a human resource perspective.