Many high-income countries face a growing elderly population and a shrinking working-age population, while in low-income countries, working-age populations are growing faster than jobs can absorb them. Labor mobility offers a solution, connecting potential migrants who need jobs to potential employers who need workers. But despite this clear win-win, the international community provides little support to migrant-sending and migrant-receiving countries struggling to connect workers with jobs.
To address this gap, CGD convened the Connecting International Labor Markets Working Group in 2019 to ensure workers can access more and better opportunities abroad. The group—including representatives from government ministries, international organizations, the private sector, and research institutions—identified barriers and opportunities to scaling quality labor mobility. This informed the design of a new organization, Labor Mobility Partnerships (LaMP). After an incubation period at CGD, LaMP launched as a fully fledged organization in mid-2020 with the goal of dramatically increasing the scale and quality of labor mobility programs globally by catalyzing a functional ecosystem of actors implementing safe, reliable, and cost-effective migration pathways that create win-win-win benefits for employers, workers, and the economies they sustain.
Even with its launch in the midst of a pandemic, LaMP attracted $4 million in multi-year grant commitments in its first two years. LaMP is currently working on a multi-year effort to demonstrate quality recruitment of agricultural workers in North America, has been enlisted to support design of policies governing migration for essential workers in Canada, and is supporting efforts to develop well-regulated corridors in Spain and Latin America. To address longstanding global challenges with recruitment, LaMP designed and is seeking partners to deploy innovative, outcomes-based financing models that aligns the interests of employers, workers, and recruiters around safe placement in quality jobs without up-front fees. As part of its coalition-building efforts, LaMP also ran the 2020 Global Forum on Migration and Development’s partnerships track, resulting in five new or expanded partnerships.