True figure of migrant workers unknown

Researchers from University of Salford: Migrants are not taking jobs from British workers
16th April 2009: Potentially a third of the migrant workers in the UK are unregistered, a new research by the University of Salford shows. Researchers also found that migrants are not taking jobs from British workers.

Government statistics show that there are 760,935 migrant workers registered in the UK but the academics estimate that there are at least another 253,645 not officially recognised, that are filling job vacancies that wouldn’t be taken up by British workers.

The focus of the report is on Bolton but the researchers believe the trends are replicated nationwide. With the true figure of migrant workers in the UK unknown to the Government, the report warns that local councils are unlikely to be able provide the resources needed to support these communities.

Professor Andy Steele, Professor of Housing and Urban Studies at Salford, said: "Despite the current UK unemployment figures, the report shows that migrant workers weren’t taking jobs from British workers, as generally they are filling skills gaps that already exist. There are a lot of low skilled vacancies around that these migrant workers fill.

"Around a third of migrant workers in this study weren’t on Government databases so the actual size of the migrant worker population in Bolton is actually a lot bigger than the statistics show. One in ten migrant workers, for example, works for cash in hand so they wouldn’t be registered.

"Service provision is based on the official Government figures so they would actually have a lot more people needing the services than they would be able to provide for. This is a national issue and is common across the UK, not just Bolton."
The aim of the study was to look at the experiences of migrant worker groups to develop better recordings of the nationalities of people that come to the UK.

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