The discourse of deservingness has been mobilised against certain groups in the UK society navigating UK labour markets, among them refugees and asylum seekers. These discourses, leading to the stigmatisation of the unemployed are coupled with an emphasis on the importance of individuals taking responsibility to develop their ‘employability’. Little attention has been paid to scrutinise the contrast between the deservingness rhetoric and policy making with the actual conditions newcomers, and in particular refugees and asylum seekers, are confronted with when seeking employment. Our paper fills such a gap by indicating key contradictions at the heart of labour market integration in the UK. On the one hand, the emphasis on deservingness is coupled with policy discourses that construct an environment shaped by welfare and labour market chauvinism. On the other hand, the policy architecture is fundamentally flawed in a number of ways in terms of the support mechanisms necessary to ensure that newcomers can successfully integrate into the labour market.
- UK labour market
- discourse analysis