Blue Birds, pilot labour migration

Short title

Blue Birds

Start date - End date

Sun, 02/28/2010 to Wed, 02/27/2013

Brief description of the initiative

The Blue Birds labour migration pilot researches whether temporary labour migration can bring advantages to all concerned: migrants, the Dutch labour market and countries of origin. The pilot aims to identify advantages and disadvantages, constraints and risks to explore new ways to handle migration. The pilot is an initiative by the Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Social Affairs & Employment. It is implemented by the HIT Foundation, Innovation Platform for Labour and Migration and will be evaluated by the World Bank.

Results and lessons learned

The latest information about the pilot can be found on the project website:




Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Project weblink/URL

Partner country(ies)

South Africa

Main thematic areas


Focus area

Migrant Rights

First name


Last name



Project Manager Labour Migration


Other partners

World Bank

Main objectives

The Blue Birds labour migration pilot is a practical study of how temporary labour migration can contribute to sustainable development in emerging markets and how it could benefit the Dutch labour market. The question the pilot seeks to answer is: Can circular migration lead to a ‘Triple Win’ that will benefit all parties concerned?



Main activities

In a small-scale practical experiment, 160 professionals from South Africa and Indonesia will be given the opportunity to work in the Netherlands. They will be employed in normal jobs that match their level of education and experience for a maximum of two years. After this period, they will return home and apply their newfound skills to further their professional development.

Main beneficiaries

Young professionals from developing countries (for this pilot more specifically from South-Africa an Indonesia) and employers in the Netherlands. As well as migration and development policy developers all over the world.

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Project Documents

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