Migrant workers continue to be the preferred ones

Cap notwithstanding, employers planning to hire migrant workers on rise

23rd August 2011: Migrant workers continue to be the preferred ones.
Even though the government has put an annual immigration cap, the percentage of employers planning to hire migrant workers continues to increase. This has been depicted in a research conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

 About 25 percent of organisations questioned in the institute’s summer Labour Market Outlook survey asserted  that they planned to recruit migrants in the next quarter, up from (22 per cent) in the spring survey and the highest proportion on record for the regular research.

CIPD public policy adviser Gerwyn Davies told PM that they were facing irregularity where they had constant high levels of unemployment but the number of employers reporting recruitment difficulties remained high.

He added that this was because they had an ever more highly skilled economy, with new skilled jobs coming on stream, while low skilled jobs were decreasing or being farmed off to China and South Asia.

 As a result, the supply of highly skilled workers was simply not meeting the demand and they needed overseas workers to fill the gap – in areas such as engineering, IT, and even in the public sector where they have a shortage of doctors and nurses and other key positions.

The finding, which is consistent with ONS data on the number of new arrivals to the UK, comes despite the government’s annual migration cap on non-EU nationals, imposed in April.

 Davis added that there was mixed news for the government. Elaborating  he said the bad news was that the first resort for employers was simply to look towards the EU, and they were seeing many employers now looking to the likes of Ireland, Spain, and other countries that have high levels of unemployment to fill some of these roles.

He asserted the real crisis for employers will come when the route will close down in two years time and other visas are reduced further.

As per the survey, a quarter said they would up-skill existing workers – a stated objective of the government – and 18 per cent say they would employ more graduates.

Infact eight per cent said they were planning to offshore further jobs abroad, which continued to be a real concern for us.”

The research showed that employers were reducing their use of intra-company transfers (ICTs) which were restricted under the cap to workers earning more than £40,000.

Only 23 per cent of firms plan to use this method in the next quarter. However, the tier one visa route for highly skilled non-EU workers remained a well liked method, with 34 per cent hiring staff through this route.

While the tier one route for general high-skilled workers had been severely restricted by the government, the tier one route for post-study workers remains open until 2013.

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