A £275,000 campaign by British authorities to help Romanians and Bulgarians get jobs legally in the UK has ended after thousands of people received advice in the three months the scheme was run.
The campaign, launched in the respective capitals of Bucharest and Sofia by the resident British ambassadors and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), ran from 1 January until 31 March. The scheme included setting up an advice line as a key source of information for people planning to leave Romania and Bulgaria to find work in the UK.
Callers to the hotlines were given information on how employment could be obtained legally in the UK, and the restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK. It also warned of the dangers of illegal immigration.
Official figures show the hotline in Bucharest received an average of 30 calls a day, with 2,700 people ringing in for information. Meanwhile in Sofia, 2,981 people called the hotline.
Governments in both countries have no up-to-date statistics on how many people have left for the UK, but employers have reported recruitment difficulties, especially in the construction and healthcare sectors.