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Migration Patterns

Migration from Punjab to Italy in the Dairy Sector: The Quiet Indian Revolution

Author : Paramjit Sahai, Kathryn Dominique Lum | 2016 |
Published By: CARIM India

The preference for high-skilled migrants and the relative ambivalence of countries to develop adequate policies for low-skilled migrants is often times accepted without question. The lack of information on the socio-economic impact of these low-skilled migrants on sending and receiving countries thus skews their public image. To challenge this myth of low-preference for the “low-skilled” migrant worker, the paper explores a case study of Indian Punjabi migrants in the Italian dairy industry to show that relevance of these so-called “low-skilled” migrant workers in producing “high-quality” Italian cheese. This paper investigates the origins of the current Indian dominance of the dairy sector in Italy and offers insights into both employee and employer perspectives on this vital industry for the Italian economy and consumer. The paper tries to create a mental picture of the life of the Indian dairy worker in Italy, their motivations, aspirations and conditions of work and shows how and why their work is valued by their Italian employers. The paper includes findings of surveys conducted by both authors to the paper which helps give a balanced view of the impact of this migration on both India and Italy. The paper concludes by clarifying how the Punjabi migrant worker does not “steal European jobs” and gives recommendations for greater efforts towards their adequate integration into Italian society.

URL : 20170616113003.pdf

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