Language skills pose barrier to hiring in London

The skills gap in London and the South East could be plugged by employing
migrant workers, a report from economic analysts Business Strategies claims.

How To Tap The Skills Of Migrant Workers says there are up to 3 million
people in the UK who were born in countries where the first language is not

Between about 50-90 per cent of these are estimated to be unemployed,
generating a huge untapped source of skills potential, according to the report.

Dr Fiona Harris, associate director of Business Strategies, said one of the
biggest barriers to employment for this group is poor language skills.

She said, "Language needs to be addressed to unlock any available
skills, and before tackling any skills training that may be necessary for the
inclusion of these workers in the workforce."

Without improvement the report concludes that many people will never be able
to raise their skills levels and the workforce will become increasingly divided
between the skilled and unskilled.

The report also finds that UK managers need to improve their communication
skills to help integrate migrant employees into the workforce.

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