‘Life after Migration: Opportunities and Challenges for young Europeans in the UK after Brexit’
Welcome to the Project!
This research project explores the post-migration transitions and pathways for citizenship for European migrant youth (aged 16-26) in all four nations of the UK. We are interested in understanding how European young people are navigating life after migration and planning for the future, in the aftermath of the UK withdrawal from the EU and the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The number of young people from Europe growing up in UK has risen sharply over past 15 years, particularly since the accession of 10 East-Central European states to the EU. These young people have spent their formative years experiencing multiple transitions and border-crossings related to moving home, learning English, changing education systems, finding work in a precarious and austere economic climate and forming key relationships in the context of divisive political rhetoric surrounding immigration.
Existing inequalities in education and employment, combined with new challenges fuelled by Brexit, Covid-19 pandemic, and a cost of living crisis are shaping the choices of European migrant youth about whether to stay in the UK. This project explores how young people's education and employment trajectories shape these choices and how educators and employers are planning for and responding to potential changes in workforce demographics after Brexit.
What will we do?
We will work with young people across the UK to gain a better understanding of European migrant youth transitions in education and employment, and how these shape prospects for citizenship and settlement in the UK. We will also engage with those supporting young people in education, employment and third sector agencies to identify the key issues affecting this group.
The project combines quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including participatory research with young people. Our key objectives are to:
Explore the barriers to education and employment progression for European youth in the UK
Investigate how this cohort navigate Brexit-related uncertainties and plan for the future in relation to mobility and settlement
Document the modes of formal and informal citizenship that young people engage in, and understand how their sense of belonging and aspirations for permanent citizenship in the UK have been shaped by current geopolitical and economic transformations (e.g. Brexit, post-pandemic recovery)
Examine policy and practice opportunities and challenges for education providers (School, College, HE) and employers in their engagement with European young people in different parts of the UK
Tracking our Progress
STAGE 1: WINTER 2022-2023
REVIEW THE EVIDENCE
Review secondary data on European migrant youth in post-16 education & employment.
STAGE 2: SPRING 2023 &2024
Document experiences of European migrant youth transitions across 2023 &2024.
STAGE 3: SUMMER/AUTUMN 2023
Gather perspectives of European migrant youth on transitions in education, work and lifecourse.
STAGE 4: SPRING 2024
Participatory workshops with European young people to understand meanings of citizenship.
STAGE 5: SUMMER/AUTUMN2024
Goal-setting and impact workshops with representatives from policy and practice.
STAGE 6: WINTER2024-2025
SHARING THE RESEARCH
Disseminating our findings through interactive conferences and policy briefings.