The world is experiencing the biggest migration crisis since World War 2 where hundreds of thousands are displaced from their homes taking huge risks to find safety. This poses a challenge for many countries in Europe as they are not ready to accept these huge numbers. However, immigration also has a big advantage if they can make it work. We examine the relationship between Migration and supply chain today.
Europe’s population is getting older where they need younger skilled workers to work in their factories (especially in Germany) and immigration can be a key driver in mobilizing the workforce. Such immigration can drive growth, increase demand and investment as more people need housing and other services and increase tax revenue. In order to achieve these advantages countries in Europe as well as US should be more transparent and open with their immigration rules, should have programs to attract skilled workers and train them with language centers so that their adaptation becomes easier.
In USA, one in 3 immigrants live in 6 metropolitan cities (Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Phoenix) and this immigrant population is growing more than the local population. As the baby boomers are entering into retirement age, immigration will become more important. While 53% of the total US population is in the prime working ages only 50 % of the native born population is in the range versus 72 % of the foreign born. The integration of immigrants especially when it comes to education, training and English language ability remains critical for supply chain managers.
Corporations also have responsibilities and can make changes so that they gain in long term. They can influence their market peers to create a culture of responsible labor stewardship. When companies speak up it changes the norms and expectations in the industry. They can increase transparency, connectivity and accountability with potential migrant employees. Also, they can help migrants to participate in and be leaders of trade unions. These small changes will in turn the immigration crisis in to opportunity for both the corporations and the local population.