Staff from overseas help fill half UK job vacancies

Foreign workers are employed in nearly half of UK companies and the trend is set to grow over the next six months.

Research out this week shows that 48 per cent of firms employ overseas staff. It comes after the Government announced that work permit regulations are to be relaxed for people wanting to work in the UK. The move is aimed at reducing skills shortages (News, 3 October).

Most of the firms with foreign employees are London-based with many being employed in hotels and restaurants.

These workers are predominantly employed at managerial or professional level. They are least likely to be working in manufacturing or local and central government.

Sally Storey, president of the Association of Health Service Human Resources Managers, said she is not surprised by the survey’s findings.

She said, “We are struggling to recruit qualified nurses. There has been major investment in increasing training places in this country but it will take a long time for that to show.

“In the meantime we will continue to rely on overseas workers but will also try to ensure that we operate on an ethical basis so we are not depleting countries that have shortages of their own.”

The findings come in the Recruitment Confidence Index from the Cranfield School of Management, The Daily Telegraph and TMP Worldwide. They are based on 2,148 responses to a representative sample of UK organisations.

As a result of the Government’s announcement, from October so-called key workers, including chefs and health workers, will have to show three rather than five years’ experience to work in the UK. An extra 100,000 people are expected to join the UK workforce.

www.cranfield.ac.uk/som/rci

By Kathy Watson

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