Proceedings of The 3rd International Conference on Future of Social Sciences and Humanities
“They fill jobs we do not want” – Third-country nationals’ inclusion and Low-Density Regions
Elisete Diogo, Tatiane Valduga
Public policies and social intervention are challenged to reinvent themselves facing the constraints of the nature of low-density territories. Furthermore, Europe and therefore Portugal have received migrants from a range of countries, comprising of a complexity in the management of the growing flow of migrants. Therefore, migrants and specifically third-countries nationals (TCN) may represent a resource for those regions where Portuguese people escape from. This exploratory study, based on a qualitative approach, aims to acknowledge, and understand the relation between professional practices for social inclusion of TCN and the development of low-density regions in Portugal. It presents the participants’ perspective about how their practices and activities carried out contribute to the inclusion of TCN. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, in 2020 and 2021. Sampling includes social workers from the three organizations that offer a CLAIM service (local center to support migrants’ integration) in the Alentejo region. Qualitative data analysis, based on categorical analysis, is supported by WebQDA software. Data are being analyzed, and preliminary findings show that job opportunities are central to attract migrants to low-density regions. In cities with few job vacancies, migrants take up physically demanding and low wage sector jobs that no one wants, contributing to local demographic, social and economic impact. Conclusions seem to suggest that social workers’ practices reduce migrants’ daily obstacles and facilitate access to public services, promoting social inclusion. As for implications for policy and practice, we suggest more labour inspections are carried out, and public services professionals are provided with more training.
Keywords: Migration; Social Inclusion; Migration Impacts; Local Development; Policies.