Nine out of ten people who joined the workforce last year were foreign nationals, official figures revealed this week.
The number is far higher than had been previously thought.
British nationals accounted for only a tiny fraction of the rise in employment among working age people with most new workers being migrant workers from both EU and non EU countries.
Last night experts warned there could be a ‘jobless recovery’ for British workers unless ministers get to grips with immigration says the Daily Mail.
The new figures raise questions about whether the Government’s drive to get millions off benefits and into work can be achieved without further curbs on immigration. They will also increase pressure to reform the bloated benefits system.
The figures, produced by the Office for National Statistics, reveal that employment among working age people rose by 181,000 in the Coalition’s first year. Yet employment levels among British nationals rose by just 14,000, or less than 8 per cent of the total.
Employment among non-UK nationals rose by 163,000 during the period – equal to more than 90 per cent of the total. Source: Daily Mail.
Despite these figures the proportion of employers planning to recruit migrant workers has risen, CIPD employer research has shown.
There must be a good reason why an employer wants to go to the trouble of employing a foreign worker.
Jobs are still available in the UK despite high unemployment
Despite the government’s best efforts to curb immigration and have more ‘British jobs for British people’, as former PM Gordon Brown put it, employers are still turning to foreign workers to fill jobs which locals are unable or unwilling to do.
Last month David Frost, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce said that the ‘unemployed lack basic skills and a strong work ethic, encouraging companies to fill vacancies with immigrants’.
UK Immigration figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that the number of foreign born workers with jobs in the UK was 4.08 Million in the three months to June this year, a rise of 278,000 from last year.
Care workers needed all over the UK
In the health care sector employers are increasingly turning to EU workers from A8 countries and A2 Bulgaria and Romania to fill hundreds of vacancies.
Despite high UK unemployment healthcare support workers or care assistants are still desperately needed by care home employers who cannot fill vacancies locally.
This week I have been contacted by two more care home owners looking for care support workers for homes in Hertfordshire, Eastbourne and Crawley.
One employer said, who has previously employed hundreds of overseas workers on work permits and student visas, said he would prefer candidates from Romania or Bulgaria as they could work full time on Yellow Cards.
Both employers have found it difficult to recruit from within the ‘resident labour market’, which is why in the past few years they have turned to overseas workers on work permits or student visas. But recent changes to Tier 2 and Tier 4 of the points based system, have closed off virtually all routes to recruiting non-EU care workers.
Students renewing their visas with private colleges after 4 July 2011 will no longer be allowed to work at all or sponsor their dependants.
In fact only students (applying or renewing visas after 4 July) who are studying at post graduate level or above at a government university will be allowed to work and sponsor a dependant.
Workers from A8 accession countries such as Poland have full ‘free movement of Labour’ rights to work in the UK, however, they are not that keen on care work either and are looking for higher paid work or returning home.
Bulgarians and Romanians who exercise their Treaty Rights (under Article 39) and apply for an accession card as students taking vocational or sandwich courses (e.g. NVQ/QCF in Health and Social Care), are allowed to work full time, as stated on their Yellow Cards.
Some NVQ colleges offer low initial deposits, flexible payments to help students get started and help with job placements (without charge) in the care sector, as well as free support with forms and paperwork.
NVQ and QCF courses have proved popular with Bulgarian and Romanian citizens seeking to gain a UK qualification whilst studying and working in London.
Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 yellow card registration as students who wish to work are being forced to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance – a form of private medical cover. The insurance is a new requirement introduced by the UK Border Agency as part of changes to the BR1 Yellow Card form in June. The revised BR1 form does not make it clear that a student will need Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, as the actual question relates to those applying as ‘self sufficient’ EU applicants. For more information on immigration rules for Bulgarian and Romanian citizens visit the UK Border Agency website or see an OISC registered immigration adviser.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:
Majestic College offer special packages for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.
For more information call Joanna on (0044) (0)208 207 1020.
STILL CONFUSED BY YELLOW CARD RULES?
Free presentations are being run at Bison UK Immigration Advisers for Employers, Romanians and Bulgarians – Monday to Friday, from 11am-12noon and 3-4pm. No need to book, just turn up.
Venue: 16 Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire WD6 1DL. Nearest Train Station: Elstree and Borehamwood Station; Buses from Edgware underground station: 107 and 292.