Employers fail to make full use of migrant workers’ skills

Employers are missing out on a wide range of skills offered by migrant workers by pigeon-holing them in low-skilled jobs, a report has claimed.

A TUC report, Migrant Workers in the Labour Market, revealed a huge gap between the present contribution migrant workers make to the UK economy, and the contribution they could make if their skills and qualifications were recognised by employers.

The study said many migrant workers were trapped in low-skill, low-paid jobs that did not use the skills and experience gained back home. The research highlighted a lack of awareness among employers, and a failure to recruit migrants into jobs that enabled their careers to progress.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “For too long the skills and qualifications of migrant workers have been desperately undervalued.

“Unions are working hard to develop learning and training strategies to persuade employers to recognise the qualifications of migrant workers, and employers need to wake up to the skills and potential these workers can offer.”

The TUC claimed employers, with the exception of those in the construction industry, were failing to seek advice from the National Recognition Information Centre on the comparability of international qualifications.

The agency provides information on qualifications from 183 countries, and can help employers recruit migrant workers into jobs that reflect their skills.

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