• Learning for LifeandWork

Reasons why a person would leave their home country to come to work in Northern Ireland

Updated: Oct 25, 2020

Migration is the movement of people between countries.

Immigration is the movement of people from one country into another country. Therefore an immigrant in Northern Ireland is someone who has left their country and moved into Northern Ireland.


There are many reasons why people leave their country and move to Northern Ireland to work. There may be:

- limited job opportunities in the immigrant’s own country so they may come to Northern Ireland to get work or to further their opportunities in their careers.

- higher salaries in Northern Ireland so the person can get paid more for the job they had been doing in their home country.

- a better standard of living in Northern Ireland that means immigrants can enjoy better housing, education, healthcare.

- an opportunity for promotion in their careers as Northern Ireland companies recruit people to work in Northern Ireland. This may mean a promotion for the person coming to work in Northern Ireland.

How has globalisation enabled immigration to Northern Ireland and how has this affected Northern Ireland's economy?

  • Approximately 4% of the Northern Ireland workforce is made up of migrant workers.

  • Migrant workers in Northern Ireland contribute more in tax to the economy than they use in services.

  • So that the Northern Ireland economy can continue to grow and survive it must embrace migration in the global market.

  • Immigrants bring vital skills that help the Northern Ireland economy to grow and flourish

  • Cheap travel and many flights in and out of Northern Ireland has allowed people the opportunity to move to Northern Ireland and work this.

  • Immigrants work in many jobs in Northern Ireland, like in construction, healthcare and in factories so they help to fill jobs where there is a skills gap.


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