Research details

Welcoming migrant workers? Work, education, and community in South Yorkshire

Author[s] Hartley, Ted and Grayson, John

Date 2008



To provide data and information which could inform strategies for adult education in South Yorkshire [United Kingdom] to relate to and engage with migrant workers, and the communities in which they have arrived.


The research was undertaken between late February and late May 2008 in Rotherham, Doncaster, Sheffield, and Barnsley. Methods of data collection were semi-structured personal interviews, telephone interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires [67]. An additional 15 stakeholder interviews were held in person or by telephone across the 4 authorities.

Key issues

  • settlement and concentration
  • integration and social cohesion
  • language barrier
  • schools and education
  • health and social care
  • housing and migration
  • work


  • There is a need to increase the provision of English language courses, but also to customise levels and relevance to the actual new migrants who have arrived in South Yorkshire.
  • There is a need for information and rights programmes for new migrants simply to help them make sense of bureaucracies and gain access to services from education through housing to health.
  • Awareness raising programmes are essential for professionals, trade unions and voluntary sector organisations to help understand backgrounds and cultures of new migrants. These programmes should fully involve new migrants themselves and their ‘really useful knowledge’ and experiences.
  • Adult education providers and organisations generally should fight for resources to create ‘safe spaces’ to enable serious discussion and analysis of issues around the development of racism in the sub-region.
  • Anti-racist programmes have to challenge ‘common sense racism’ by cooperation and alliances being forged with organisations being developed by migrants and the VCS generally.
  • Resources and training need to be deployed to counter media myths and to enable people to be able to challenge them.
  • Events, activities and workshops which celebrate the positive impacts of migrants, diversity and migration need to be extended.
  • Programmes should resource and encourage the development of migrant workers' own community organisations.

Further details

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