YUFE Academy Lecture hosted by the University of Essex
09:00 - 11:00
Dr Neli Demireva
Lectures, talks and seminars
Immigration, Brexit and COVID-19: the future of multicultural Britain by Dr Neli Demireva
Immigration stands high on the public agenda throughout Europe. It played a central role in the 2016 Referendum and continues to dominate Brexit debates. Leave campaigners and several British politicians have blamed migration for undercutting pay and conditions of white British workers in the UK. This perception of migrants undercutting working conditions or taking up resources, such as health care or subsidized housing, in communities already facing adversity has been linked to anti-immigrant feelings and a sense of alienation among majority populations in Europe. It has been assumed that in the face of an aging population in many western societies, immigration can only contribute to the labour force. Yet, perceptions in local communities challenge this narrative of success and question the integration rate of different communities.
Migrants are much more likely to work in low pay jobs with low autonomy than majority members and the second generation. These are indeed jobs in which workers are less likely to work from home, and which are more vulnerable to job cuts. Occupational health risks have been explored in individual countries and recent research has underscored the over-representation of migrant low-skilled workers in a number of key occupations essential for the fight against COVID-19 across European countries.
This talk will focus on the contribution that migrants have to the UK society, and discuss the future of free movement but also of the multiculturalism project in light of the British government’s response to Covid19 and the recent BLM protests.
Students, staff and members of our local community are invited to find out more about the Young Universities for the Future of Europe alliance, YUFE, by taking part in the first edition of the YUFE Academy. For five weeks throughout November and December, the YUFE Academy is offering four online lectures a week across the alliance’s YUFE universities – which includes Essex – letting participants 'travel' through ten European countries and get a unique experience of attending 20 very different academic lectures.