27 January 2009

Home Office issues record number of work permits despite rising unemployment

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The number of work permits issued to UK immigrants rose by almost four times the level than when Labour took power over a decade ago, reports the Telegraph.

Despite showing signs of economic recession last year, the UK Home Office has issued 151,000 UK work permits to overseas workers from outside the EU.  Statistics also show that unemployment levels rose by 290,000, despite the number of job vacancies reaching as high as 530,000.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch said every skilled person from outside the EU who moves to the UK for work takes away the opportunity for UK workers to be trained for the position.

Figures showed 151,635 applications for a UK work permit were granted between December 2007 and November 2008, which was a 17 per cent increase on the 140,600 granted throughout 2007.

Of the 151,000 work permits issued, Indians received 49,950, while Americans and Chinese received 28,835 and 8,090 respectively.

Some of the work permits were extensions for those already working and living in the UK, while 40 per cent were valid for only one year and only 85 permits had a five year validity.

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