Imported staff fill skills gaps

The
number of overseas workers granted permission to work in the UK has increased
by 13,200 in 12 months.

The
latest official figures show the number of successful applications for work
permits grew from 115,800 in 2001, to 129,000 in 2002.

There
have also been some major changes in the areas that overseas staff work in,
with the recruitment drive in the NHS and skills shortages across the medical
and IT professions leading to a greater need for foreign staff.

In
1995, the heath services only accounted for 7 per cent of overseas workers. Now
it is top of the list with 24 per cent.

The
other main sectors are computer services (17 per cent), business administration
and managerial services (13 per cent), education (8 per cent) and financial
services (8 per cent).

The
majority of overseas workers come from four countries: India (21 per cent), US
(11 per cent), South Africa (9 per cent), and Australia and New Zealand (9 per
cent).

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