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Migration Funded Projects

Careers, Conjunctures and Consequences: the Implications of Polish migration to Ireland for contemporary Irish emigration (Learning from Poland)


The Learning from Poland project examines the implications of Polish migration to Ireland for contemporary Irish emigration and the lessons for wider European and transnational mobility today. The research project will study migrants' careers across national and organisational boundaries, the impact of different conjunctures on these individual biographies and the consequences of immigration and emigration for Irish employment regulation. The Migrant Careers and Aspirations project (2007-2010) suggested that Polish migration to Ireland was prototypical for other emerging European migrations including that from Ireland today. We will re-interview the original panel of Polish migrants who worked in Ireland during the boom and interview a new panel of recent Irish graduate emigrants.

The Learning from Poland project is located within the IIIS.

We have just launched The Irish Graduates Abroad Survey which forms a core part of the Learning from Poland/Irish Abroad Study. This survey is specifically concerned with undergraduate degree holders in OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT and is targeting graduates from 2008- 2012. To take part in this survey, please click here
The survey takes 5 minutes to complete and we are very grateful to all who participate as your experience is invaluable to us. As an incentive for participation, you will enter a draw for a specially designed Trinity hamper!

We will post results of the survey on this page in the summer.

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Who we are

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Migrants move between countries, yet assumptions around a permanent move from country of origin to country of settlement is no longer sufficient to understanding migration and mobility within Europe of indeed transnationally. In order to explore contemporary mobility patterns, this project will develop the original Migrant Careers and Aspirations project (2007-2010) by re-interviewing the original panel of Polish migrants who arrived in Ireland in the early-mid 2000s wherever they have now moved. We will examine the significance of the move to Ireland within individuals' longer term biographies and movements. We will also compare these migrants with current and recent Irish graduate emigrants. This will allow an analysis of the nature of movement of young Europeans and the differential utilisation of the new European mobility space as well as gaining insights into participation in a wider transnational labour market by both Polish and Irish migrants.

Using the concept of employment conjuncture as a means to understand the specific economic, social and political context at particular points in time, we will explore the long term implications of such conjunctures for stability and change in employment relations. Moving from a goldrush labour market which characterised the initial MCA project, we will go on to analyse the specific employment features of Ireland in recession.

The project will examine the extent to which immigration is shaped by national and EU policies. While liberal market economies such as Ireland appear to import immigrants, such immigration may also impact on the institutions of labour markets through, for example, replacement of unionised long term employees with short labour contracts. Of interest is whether such changes occurred briefly during the booming labour market or have had longer term consequences and are still evident during the recession.

Research strategy
Qualitative Panel Study: A 7th wave of interviews with a panel of Polish workers working in four employment sectors, Hospitality, Construction, Software and Financial Services will take place over the coming months.
Irish Abroad Study: Two waves of interviews with recently graduated Irish emigrants will take place over the coming year.
Workplace Case studies of selected enterprises using interviews with significant informants will be carried out early in 2013.

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Last updated 17 September 2013 by IIIS (Email).