Skilled Indian migrants and their differential engagement with the Dutch society
Highly skilled migration has received much attention in the policy, media and national politics as the need of the hour to push for economic growth. The contribution of the skilled workers to the knowledge economy has been examined largely at the macro level and has led to the creation of the preferred corridors. The aims of this chapter are to examine how skilled migrants perceive their contribution to the Dutch society and how these reflexive narratives highlight the positioning of the migrant in the host society. This paper is based on thirty interviews that were conducted among skilled Indian migrants, from Karnataka and Kerala, living in the Netherlands. The skilled migrants were asked to reflect on their contribution to the Dutch society. Participants used this reflexive space to co-create knowledge on their ‘place’ in the Dutch society. The reflexive narratives moved from discussing unique skills, diversity in workplace, efforts to change the image of India and contribution to the welfare system. There were also participants who perceived their contribution to be minimal. These reflexive narratives highlight the need to look beyond the narrow political and economic frames of immigrant integration to understand the contributions of skilled migrants to the Dutch society.