Let Us Tell You: A peer research project into the working experiences of migrant workers in Manchester | Immigration | Migrant Worker

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This report summarises the key findings of a peer research project exploring the experiences of migrant workers living and working in Manchester. It also outlines recommendations for service providers and other organisations who are supporting migrant workers. The research was carried out by members of the Migrants Supporting Migrants (MSM) group with guidance and support from Oxfam. The MSM group decided that the research was needed to help them understand more about the experiences and support needs of other migrant workers, both to inform the group’s activities and the practice of service providers. Oxfam was keen to support this research and encouraged a focus on employment issues to link with the aims of our programme.
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   “ L e t u s t e l l y o u ”  A p e e r r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t i n t o t h e w o r k i n g e x p e r i e n c e s o f m i g r a n t w o r k e r s i n M a n c h e s t e r Be Humankindh  Acknowledgements This research report was written by Cesar Urquizo, with support from Farah Kurji and Lucy Brillin September 2008.The research project was possible thanks to the collaboration of the Migrants SupportingMigrants group. We specially want to acknowledge the participation of the peer researchersVictor Svaikovskij, Negat Tafesse, Ewa Wisniewska, Piotr Pikula, Pawel Bajurski, MiroslawOgorzalek and Mesfin Mehare Haile and members of the Migrants Supporting Migrants groupShanmugalingam Bavananthan, Magdalena Matuszczak, Agnieszka Wielochowska, BaratMuradi, Laura Yáñes, Svitlana Smotrytska and Cristina Galli.  Introduction ............................................................................................................................................4Background and Context.........................................................................................................................4Migrants Supporting Migrants Group......................................................................................................4Oxfam’s Migrant Workers Project (MWP)................................................................................................5Methodology............................................................................................................................................5 Advantages and limitations of the Peer Research approach..................................................................5 Research Findings  ................................................................................................................................61. Personal Characteristics......................................................................................................................62. Reasons for coming to the UK.............................................................................................................73. Experiences at work............................................................................................................................7 Seeking work .......................................................................................................................................7 Where do migrant workers work? ........................................................................................................7 Positive experiences at work ...............................................................................................................8 Working hours .....................................................................................................................................9 Problems at work .................................................................................................................................9 Resolving problems ...........................................................................................................................114. Problems outside work......................................................................................................................125. Sources of support............................................................................................................................12Oxfam reflections on findings................................................................................................................13 Recommendations  ..............................................................................................................................14 Access to training and ESOL classes ...................................................................................................14Work and Employment..........................................................................................................................14 Advice and Information..........................................................................................................................14Integration .............................................................................................................................................14Service Providers’ Approach.................................................................................................................15Community Development and Influencing Opportunities......................................................................15 Co n te n ts  3   I n t rod uc t io n ‘The most important for me is working in the UK, I have got so manyexperiences dealing with not just different people with differentattitudes, but experiences working with and for different nationalities.Where they have so many different cultures, costumes, different aspectsof religion etc. In summary, it has been a great experience for me.’ 1 This report summarises the key findings of a peer research project exploring the experiences of migrant workers living and working in Manchester. It also outlines recommendations for serviceproviders and other organisations who are supporting migrant workers.The research was carried out by members of the Migrants Supporting Migrants (MSM) group withguidance and support from Oxfam. The MSM group decided that the research was needed to helpthem understand more about the experiences and support needs of other migrant workers, both toinform the group’s activities and the practice of service providers. Oxfam was keen to support thisresearch and encouraged a focus on employment issues to link with the aims of our programme.The report is structured in three parts: 1.  Background and Context, including a brief description of the methodology, and anintroduction to the Migrants Supporting Migrants group, the peer researchers andOxfam’s Migrant Workers project 2.  The key findings of the research 3.  Recommendations for service providers, employers and trade unions Background and Context The research sought to document the experiences and issues faced by migrant workers inManchester in order to better understand how support groups and service providers can respond tothe needs of this group. The research aimed to build on the experience of the Migrants SupportingMigrants Group and Oxfam’s Migrant Workers’ Project and used a peer research methodology. Migrants Supporting Migrants Group The Migrants Supporting Migrants group has been meeting regularly in central Manchester sinceNovember 2007 and is made up of around 20 migrants from Eastern Europe, South America, Asia,the Middle East and Africa. The group came together with the aim of supporting other migrants inManchester, and has received training and support from Oxfam’s Migrants Workers Project.So far the group have worked hard to set themselves up and have helped to organise a number of information workshops to support other migrant workers to gain awareness of their rights and howto access local support services. The group also plan to set up and run an e-mail advice serviceand cultural and social activities for other migrant workers in Manchester. 4  1. All quotations in italics are taken from the notes made by peer researchers summarising the responses of their migrant worker interviewees.
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