Indian Punjabi skilled migrants in Britain: Of brain drain and under-employment
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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the careers of skilled migrants from Indian Punjab. This study complicates the normalization of skilled migration as a "win-win" situation by examining the career trajectories of skilled migrants from the Indian Punjab who are trying to establish themselves in Britain. Design/methodology/approach: The paper examines 20 life history interviews undertaken with skilled migrants from the Indian Punjab to Britain, in IT, media, law and hospitality industries, health and welfare professionals, and student migrants. Findings: Skilled migrants were able to migrate on their own auspices through migration economies in Punjab. Once in Britain, however, they were directed to universities and labour markets in which they were not able to use their skills. They experienced under-employment, devaluation of their qualifications and downward mobility, which forced them into ethnic and gendered markets within their home networks and created ambivalence about migrant success and issues of return. Research limitations/implications: The study emphasizes the need to take a transnational lens when looking at skilled migration, address how migrants' career trajectories are limited by racism, anti-immigration sentiment and gender inequality, and consider temporality and uncertainty. Originality/value: The paper raises questions concerning the ways in which rapidly changing "managed migration" policies in Britain have burdened individual migrants. ? Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Journal of Management Development