Jobs: Immigration cap ‘leads to more EU workers in the UK’

MORE than 242,000 people came into the UK than left the country in the three months to September 2010 according a report out recently.

Friday, 10th June 2011, 4:57 pm

The 50 per cent rise in net migration in the ONS Migration Statistics Quarterly Report may be partly explained by more people coming to the UK from the European Union in response to the government’s cap on non-EU migration, says the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Gerwyn Davies, public policy Adviser, CIPD, said: “News that net migration has increased comes as no surprise given the recent rise in the number of EU workers in employment in the UK, which is overshadowing a sharp fall in the number from outside the EU.

“While there are many drivers at play, it is no coincidence that this trend has coincided with the introduction of the temporary cap on non-EU workers, which seems to have opened up more opportunities for EU workers. This is consistent with employers who have said that they would look to the EU to recruit workers to fill vacancies that are sometimes difficult to fill, in response to the cap on non-EU migrant workers.”

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The figures from the Workforce Job Series show that the number of EU 14 nationals in employment has risen by 12 per cent during the past year, while the number of EU 8 nationals has increased by 25 per cent.

In contrast, the number of people in employment from New Zealand and Australia has fallen by more than a third, while the number of people in employment from USA has fallen by more than 10 per cent. The number of UK nationals in employment has increased by 0.7 per cent.

Mr Davies added: “The figures offer further evidence that keeping out skilled non-EU workers won’t help unemployed people in the UK in the near term, given the recent rise in the number of EU workers who – it should be stressed – have unlimited access to the UK labour market. It could however have real and negative consequences for both business and public sector organisations.”