Mary Gilmartin
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in Ireland and migration in the twenty-first century
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This chapter looks at the relationship between migration, work and Ireland, paying attention to the hierarchies that emerge when migrants experience work. It examines a specific employment sector, health care, which is often classified as skilled migration. The chapter also looks at inadvertent migrant workers: people whose main motivation for migration is not necessarily work, but who become part of the labour force in their new homes for a variety of reasons. This includes students and migrants on working holiday visas who, as migrant workers in different contexts, share similar experiences of precarity and marginalization. A combination of increased investment in the Irish health care system, population growth, changing training and work practices meant that, from the late twentieth century onwards, Irish hospitals began to experience a shortage of nurses.

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