The Home Secretary, David Blunkett, said in a recent speech that well managed, legal migration is vital to Britain’s economic and social interests. Legal migrants make up eight per cent of the UK’s population but generate 10 per cent of our gross domestic product. The Government is keen to emphasise the important contribution made by legal migrants.
Mr Blunkett set out the Government’s approach – working to build tolerance and enthusiasm for legal migration.
Immigration is in all our interests to harness the skills that new migrants can bring.
Mr Blunkett said that government policy is to encourage legal, managed migration which is good for the economy: “Migration is only one facet of the broader phenomenon of globalisation which is shaping the modern world. Migrants make a disproportionate contribution to the wealth of the UK, accounting for eight per cent of the population but 10 per cent of our gross domestic product. No modern, successful country can afford to adopt an anti-immigration policy. It is in all our interests to harness the innovation, skills and productivity that new migrants can bring. If we are to achieve flexibility and sustainable growth, then legal migration … must be the way forward. I want to lead a debate that … enhances public understanding of the benefits of legal migration, as well as the need for integration for those who stay. Learning English is an important part of this, as a stepping-stone on the way to full and active participation in the labour market and the wider community. But integration is also about helping those who settle here to understand the meaning of becoming a British citizen and the rights and responsibilities that brings.”
Legal Migrants contribute £2.5 billion more than they consume
Home Office research has shown that legal migrants contribute £2.5 billion more in taxes than they consume in services and have little or no adverse affect on the wages or employment levels of the existing population.
Work Permit System is the primary economic route in to the UK
The primary route for economic migration to the UK is through the work permit system. Employers must apply for a work permit for a specific vacancy and demonstrate they cannot fill the post with a domestic worker.
More Work Permits issued each year.
In 2002, 136,000 work permits were granted, three times the number in 1997. In 2003, Work Permits UK issued 175,000 work permits. The UK has established two new sector based schemes for the hospitality and manufacturing sectors where there are recruitment difficulties. These will allow 20,000 permits to be issued as part of this total. The Home Office has also introduced a separate Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, designed to attract the top talent to the UK.
This is good news, especially for professional Filipino people wishing to find work in the UK. The Philippine Labor Attaché, Attorney Victor Ablan, estimates that during the last 3 years around 30000 Filipino Contract Workers were granted UK Work Permits. This means that Filipinos are major contributors to the UK economy!
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