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Migration of Filipinos to Germany: A Mismatch between Motivation of Highly Qualified and Qualified Workers and German Migration Policies?

Globalisation
Migration
Policy Analysis
Immigration
Qualitative
Paulyn Duman
Hertie School
Paulyn Duman
Hertie School
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Abstract

The Philippines belongs to the top labor exporting countries in the world driven largely by state policies which include a target of sending 1 million workers abroad annually. Domestic educational system also shows responsiveness to international labor market demands evidenced by a surge in the number of graduates in the IT, health, engineering, and education and teacher training. The highly skilled workers go mostly to North America or the Middle East. Interestingly, most of highly qualified Filipino workers move to countries where rights of foreign workers are markedly restricted and in most cases, death penalty is imposed. The paper addresses the question why highly qualified and qualified Filipinos are not massively moving to Europe, particularly to Germany considering that Germany liberalized markedly its migration policies in the last decade and established a bilateral labor agreement with the Philippines in recent years. This research shows a mismatch between the motivations of highly qualified Filipinos, particularly those working in the fields of natural science, IT, engineering, medical doctors and nurses, even those who are already in Germany. The mismatch is explained by the neoclassical economic theory and also significantly by migration network theory and transnational theory. Where networks act as a strong influence on moving abroad, Germany could learn from Saudi Arabia in this regard to attract highly skilled Filipino workers. Finally, the paper recommends focus not only on state-managed migration policies but also on fostering and supporting networks and communities of highly qualified workers to flourish.