Education International
Education International

See BBC World News debate, 10-11 July, on Migration and Investment in Education

published 9 July 2010 updated 9 July 2010

Marking the release by the OECD of two major reports on Employment and Migration, BBC presenter Nik Gowing put the question “Is migration the answer?”

The panel included the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Angel Gurria, and the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Sharan Burrow.

A special broadcast of BBC World News at OECD headquarters in Paris this week emphasized that investment in education and training must be protected from austerity measures as governments try to wind down public debt. Gurria and Burrow agreed that the debate over migration should not be about the simplistic notion that migrants take scarce jobs, but rather about the contribution of rights-based migration to growth. But they also stressed that education and vocational training were critically important in migration being seen as a positive rather than a negative factor in national political debates. Gurria emphasized the importance of investments in teachers and languages. Burrow underlined the role of the public sector.

In response to a question to the panel from Bob Harris of EI, Manpower International President David Arkless, stated that investment in community-based training and education for migrant families, despite the crisis, was a matter of political will. All members of the panel concurred that education and training were investments in the future that must be protected from short-term political calculations.

This BBC World debate will be broadcasted on 10 July at 10.10 and 22.10 GMT, and on 11 July at 03.10 and 16.10 GMT.