Page 5: Technological factors
Changes in technology, including a rise in automation in the workplace and the development of the internet, have transformed the way in which many businesses work:
- Automation of production processes in factories means less-skilled workers are needed.
- The internet has opened up a need for information processing in purchasing and data management areas, for example, in online shopping. Many migrant graduates have come to fill these more specialised vacancies.
- The biggest technological factor affecting migration has been the increased availability and reduced cost of transport. Over 75% of migrants fly into the UK, most using budget airlines.
- Advances in online money transfers enable migrant workers to send money home easily and securely. This makes them more willing to migrate.A United Nations statistic shows that migrant workers send home over twice the amount given in international aid to developing countries.
- Improvements in telecommunications have made it easier for potential migrants to discover what job opportunities are available. Through online chat rooms, they gain information and advice from other migrants from their own country and can keep in contact with friends and family in their home countries.
UNISON's website is an important means of communicating with members. For example, it has welfare pages providing migrants with information about the benefits they can receive. The site provides access to leaflets in a range of different languages. These give advice on their rights at work and information about health and safety. This greatly improves the livelihood and work experience of UNISON members.