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New European Mobilities: Education, migration and employment

  • Date: Monday 16 September 2013
  • Hosted By: The Employment Research Centre (ERC) in association with the Institute for International Integration Studies (IIIS) 
  • Funded By: The Irish Research Council
  • Venue: IIIS Seminar Room, 6th Floor Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
      • Directions to Trinity College Campus
      • College Campus Map
      • How to find the IIIS Seminar Room: The Institute is located on the 6th floor of the Arts Block within the campus,
        which is the lower left hand quadrant of the College map adjoining Nassau Street. Please use the lift which is located behind the security desk. Go to the 6th floor, as you exit the lift please follow the signs to the Institute.

Media Coverage

About the symposium

Between 2004 and 2008, nearly half-a-million European nationals arrived in Ireland from the new member states (NMS) of the EU. Many of these were young Poles joining the Irish labour market at a time when economic opportunities were limited ‘at home’. Importantly though, a history of mobility is an historic part of the Polish story, with an established transnational record of migration. The story of movement for work overseas, to pursue lifestyle opportunity and to enhance professional goals is a familiar part of the Irish story, including amongst the Irish graduate population. The mobility evident amongst high-skilled Polish nationals in the 2000s and an Irish graduate cohort in 2008-2013, reveals an opportunity to capture movement within the broader context of intra-EU and transnational mobility. The Learning from Poland project examined the implications of Polish migration to Ireland for contemporary Irish emigration and the lessons for wider European and transnational mobility today

The symposium will address questions about this new mobility context discussing new forms of mobility including lifestyle migration; education and the relationship with employability and mobility, the need for portable social protections and the impact on national welfare systems. It will feature findings from the Learning from Poland project and international speakers to contextualise Irish and Polish experiences of mobility and ultimately evaluate national and European policy implications of the new mobilities.



A highlight of the symposium will be the publication of the preliminary findings from the Learning from Poland study conducted by Employment Research Centre (ERC) and funded by the Irish Research Council. The study examined and compared the strategies and experiences of Irish graduates emigrants with those of high-skilled Polish migrants who entered the Irish labour market in the 2000s. Please download the report Learning from Poland: First Reflections.

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Programme Overview and Registration

Programme Overview

  • The event is free but places are limited. Please register here (please note registration will close when full capacity is reached) Registration has now closed.

  • Please download the full programme here.

09.15-09.30 Registration & coffee
Overview of Day and Introductions
by Elaine Moriarty
Official Welcome by Prof Vinny Cahill, Dean of Research, Trinity College
09.45-10.15 Introduction
Prof James Wickham, Professor of Sociology and Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Trinity College Dublin Download Paper
10.15-11.30 Session 1: Careers, transitions and the lifecycle
Prof Karen O’Reilly, Loughborough University Download Paper
Dr Alicja Bobek, Post doctoral research fellow, Trinity College Dublin Download Paper
11.30-11.45 Break
11.45-13.00 Session 2: Education, employability and mobility
Dr Michael Tomlinson, Lecturer in the School of Education, University of Southampton Download Paper
Dr Sally Daly, Post doctoral research fellow, Trinity College Dublin Download Paper
13.00-14.00 Lunch
14.00-15.15 Session 3:European labour market, social protection and national welfare systems
Prof Torben Krings, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria Download Paper
Prof Elaine Moriarty, Asst Professor Sociology, Trinity College Dublin Download Paper
15.15-15.30 Break
15.30-17.00 Session 4: National and European policy implications of the new mobilities
Dr Piotr Rakowski, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of Poland Download Paper
Prof Philip O’Connell, Director of the Geary Institute and Professor of Applied Social Science, UCD Download Paper


Followed By a Book Launch and Wine Reception at 5.30pm:
His Excellency, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Ireland, Mr Marcin Nawro will launch‘New Mobilities in Europe: Polish Migration to Ireland post 2004’ at the European Commission Offices, 18 Dawson Street, Dublin 2

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Participant Biographies

Alicja Bobek is Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the Learning from Poland project in Trinity College. Her research and teaching interest include migration, labour markets, social networks and ethnic and cultural studies. She previously worked as a research assistant on the Migrant Careers and Aspirations Project, one of the six projects within the Trinity Immigration Initiative. Alicja has a Phd in Sociology from TCD, an MA in Sociology and an MA in Migration and Ethnic Studies from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

Sally Daly is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Sociology, Trinity College. Sally received a PhD from the Dublin Institute of Technology in 2012 and an MSocSc in Social Policy from University College Cork in 2006. Most recently, she has been researching the strategies of Irish graduates in overseas labour markets as part of the 'Learning from Poland' project.

Torben Krings, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria Torben Krings is Assistant Professor at the Department of Economic and Organisational Sociology, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria. He previously worked as post-doctoral researcher at the Employment Research Centre at Trinity College Dublin. He completed a PhD on trade unions and immigration at Dublin City University. His main research interests are migration, industrial relations, work and employment, and European societies.

Elaine Moriarty is Assistant Professor in Sociology at Trinity College Dublin. Elaine's teaching and research interests include mobility and migration, qualitative research methods, and race and ethnicity. Elaine is currently project manager on the ‘Careers, Conjunctures and Consequences - the implications of Polish migration to Ireland for contemporary Irish emigration’ research project (2012-2013), a follow up to the ‘Migrant Careers and Aspirations’ project, a three year study of Polish migrants in the Irish labour market (2007-2010). Her most recent publications include (2012), 'Taking on almost everyone?' Migrant and Employer Recruitment Strategies in a Booming Labour Market, International Journal of Human Resource Management, (with James Wickham, Torben Krings, Justyna Salamonska, Alicja Bobek) and (2012) 'Polish Migration to Ireland: ‘Free Movers’ in the New European Mobility Space’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (with Torben Krings, Alicja Bobek, Justyna Salamonska and James Wickham).

Philip J O'Connell is Director of the UCD Geary Institute, the research centre for economics and social sciences. Philip recently joined UCD from the ESRI where he was Head of Social Research and Director of the European Migration Network in Ireland. Specialising in labour market research, he is the author of several books on work-related education and training, as well as a large body of research on quality of work and access to employment. He received his doctorate from Indiana University, Bloomington and taught at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  He has served as a consultant on human resource development and labour market issues to the European Commission and the OECD, and is currently involved in a number of comparative European research projects.

Karen O'Reilly is Professor of Sociology at Loughborough University. She has  spent the past 20 years on and off living amongst and learning from British people who move abroad in search of a better way of life. Sociologically this has informed an interest in (and many writings on) a broad range of themes, including: ethnicity, identity and community; nations and nationalism; home and belonging; social exclusion; the informal economy; tourism-related migration; and friends and networks. Her main interests remain in the fields of contemporary forms of mobility and their implications for sociological problems. She is also passionate about ethnographic research methods. Karen is author of International Migration and Social Theory (Palgrave, 2012); Ethnographic Methods (Routledge, 2nd ed. 2012); Key Concepts in Ethnography (Sage, 2009); and The British on the Costa del Sol (Routledge 2000).

Piotr Rakowski is Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Political and Economic Section in the Embassy of the Republic of Poland. Before his current assignment, he was the Head of Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) Section in the European Policy Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw, Poland. He also worked for the Ministry of the Interior and Administration, Polish Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels, Belgium and for the General Secretariat of the EU Council in Brussels, Belgium. He is also an academic and researcher at the Nicholaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland, at the Faculty of Political Sciences and International Studies. He lectures at the Collegium Civitas in Warsaw, Poland. His teaching and research interests include EU law and policy in the AFSJ, external aspects of internal security and the contemporary international relations in this area. A lawyer by education, Piotr holds a LL.M. degree from the Nicholaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland and from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. He completed his Ph.D. dissertation in 2007 on European Police Office Europol at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, Poland.

Michael Tomlinson is a lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Southampton and a member of the Lifelong and Work-related research centre and convenor for the Higher Education Research Group there. Prior to this, he was a lecturer in Keele University in the UK in the School of Public Policy and also worked at Cardiff University as a research associate in the Business School and ESRC-post-doctoral research fellow in the School of Social Science, where he also completed his doctorate.
His main research interests are broadly located in the sociology of education and work interface, particularly within the sociology of HE, the HE-labour market relationship, graduate employability, transitions to work and early career experiences, HE policy and student learning. He also has cross-cutting interests in public management and leadership, from a critical perspective. His recent book, Education, Work and Identity (Bloomsbury, 2013), has brought together some of the main conceptual themes and debates in the disciplinary fields of education and work.

James Wickham is Professor of Sociology and Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Trinity College Dublin. He has researched and taught on contemporary European society as well as on Irish employment and labour market issues. More recently he has been researching different aspects of mobility, ranging from business air travel to high skill migration; he is now studying the impact of the economic crisis on urban mobility. He has published Gridlock: Dublin's transport crisis and the future of the city (Dublin, 2006) as well as academic articles on employment, migration and mobility. Having chaired the Trinity Immigration Initiative and directed a project on Polish migrants in Dublin, James is now leading a project, Learning from Poland, which compares Polish emigration in the 2000's with Irish emigration today.




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Last updated 13 November 2013 by IIIS (Email).