The UK economy could be missing out on the skills of thousands migrant workers from the eight EU accession countries because of their lack of English language skills, according to a government report.
The report, by the Learning and Skills Network, says the majority of migrants from EU accession countries are highly qualified and skilled.
However, it warns that many are failing to find jobs that match their experience and qualifications because of their poor English skills. Instead they get caught in the trap of low-paid, low-skilled and temporary employment.
The report Learning and Skills Planning and provision for migrants from the accession states, found that migrants face complex hurdles when it comes to finding language courses that meet their needs
Once they are in a job, many migrants work shifts and are poorly paid. This leaves them with little free time to find out about or attend English language classes.
Transport problems often make it especially difficult for migrants living in rural areas to attend a course.
Many migrants also do seasonal or temporary jobs, and have to move around the country to find employment. As a result, some people are forced to drop out of a course before completing it or gaining a qualification.
The report calls for all the relevant agencies to take a co-ordinated approach and find a way forward which addresses the issues faced by migrant workers.
Darshan Sachdev, research manager at the Learning and Skills Network, said: “Migrant workers are a valuable asset to our growing economy. To unlock their potential the relevant agencies need to take a joined-up approach that addresses the multiplicity of issues faced by these people.”