Barriers to highly skilled labour mobility in the European Union

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Orji, Ugonna
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MBA in Business Management
Dublin Business School
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This study seeks to evaluate the barriers to employment in the UK which limit the mobility of EU nations between EU member states. Three objectives were set which consist of the following: identify the ability of doctors and nurses to move between EU countries, identify the main stakeholders of the UK's healthcare industry and identify mobility barriers present in UK hospitals. The literature suggests that the main type of professional migrants going to UK hospitals consist of permanent settlers and temporary professional transients. There are numerous push and pull factors that drive professional doctors and nurses to come to the UK. Examples of these push and pull factors consist of the following: higher wage, better career opportunities, more economic stability, good working conditions and limited educational opportunities. International migration can be beneficial to societies and economies but there are a number of problems which limit its effectiveness. Examples of these problems consist of the following: brain drain, oversupply of professionals, cultural conflicts and difficulty to integrate in a new society. A critical theory philosophy was adopted in this study. A qualitative research model was used and primary data was collected from management, native and migrant professionals. One case study was selected, which consists of a hospital and interviews were conducted on the population noted above. An intensive and opportunistic sampling strategy were adopted and the qualitative data was analysed by referring to the framework developed by Miles and Huberman (1994). Measures were adopted to safeguard the ethical principles of confidentiality and integrity. The reliability and validity of the study were maintained by adopting the following methods: investigator responsiveness, methodological coherence, sampling adequacy, theoretical sampling, and active analytical stance and saturation. The main themes stemming from the primary data comprise the following: conflict between the native and professional migrants, role of the human resource department, difficulty for professional migrants to translate their skills in the hospital and cultural barriers present in the hospital. The generalisability of this study is weak due to limited sample diversity and it is recommended that additional studies are conducted in hospitals in the UK. The barriers identified in this study comprise the following: communication barrier, cultural barrier, educational barrier, social barrier and limited information barrier. These barriers hinder the ability of professionals to move between the UK and other EU countries and adversely affect the quality of service provided to the two main stakeholders of the hospital, which consist of the customers and the UK government.