22 February 2010

Firms continue to hire UK migrant workers to address skills gap

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The recession has not dampened employer’s willingness to hire migrant workers with around one in five (19%) employers recruiting migrant workers in the past three months, a new labour survey shows.

UK Immigration

UK employers are finding it hard to fill many vacancies, particularly in the heath sector.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and KPMG, an advisory company, today released their quarterly Labour Market Outlook survey which found public sector employers  were more likely to hire migrant workers than private sector employers (24 per cent compared to 15 per cent).

The survey of over 700 employers shows that employers are still reporting skills shortages, with around two in five (41 per cent) employers with vacancies that are hard to fill.

More than half of these vacancies are skills related (52 per cent); with engineer, doctor and nurse vacancies the most difficult to fill.
The report’s author and public policty advisor at CIPD, Gerwyn Davies, said: "Despite rising unemployment, employers are still struggling to recruit the people they need and we are turning abroad to plug the gap.

“Through a combination of recruiting migrant workers to fill UK vacancies, or outsourcing work to locations abroad, employers are looking to strike the right balance between the skills for the job and the cost reductions needed to meet budget targets.”

There are a number of ways a company can potentially address an internal skills shortage, including hiring skilled migrants who already have a UK visa or by sponsoring a specific migrant through the Tier 2 Work Permit programme.

All UK employers wishing to hire an employee from outside of the European Union, or to extend the work permits of current employees,  must have an Employer Sponsorship Licence under the new points-based system for UK Immigration.


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