Almost 250,000 workers from the EU accession states have come to the UK looking for work in the past year, according to the latest Home Office figures.
This is 19 times the 13,000 workers the Home Office originally estimated would arrive each year.
The figures show that between May 2004 and July this year 232,000 people came to the UK looking for work from the accession states. More than half of these workers were from Poland and were in their 20s.
Skills shortages in the UK mean that employers are increasingly seeking foreign labour to fill vacancies. One in four employers are looking for talent outside the UK, according to the CIPD.
The government is consulting on new immigration laws and employers have been urged to make use of the consultation to ensure they can get a good flow of labour.
For more on the government’s immigration plans go to www.personneltoday.com/30906.article