Migrant worker numbers exaggerated say boffinsOn 13 Apr 2004 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. The number of East European migrants heading to the UK next month has beenover-estimated and many will only remain in the country on a short-term basis,academics have claimed. Economic and employment experts say that UK industries such as hospitality,IT and medical services may find more willing applicants to fill existingvacancies when 10 more countries officially join the European Union in May –but that many migrants are likely to stay for only a few years before takingtheir skills and work experience back to their home countries. Ten new member states from Eastern Europe will join the EU on 1 May enablingpeople from countries such as Poland, Slovakia, Romania and the Czech Republicto work in the UK. Robin Chater, secretary-general of the Federation of European Employers(FedEE), compared the situation facing accession countries to Ireland’s duringthe 1970s and ’80s, when surplus graduates left to work in Germany, TheNetherlands and the US. “Ireland was producing more graduates than the its economy couldaccept. When the economy lifted, they came back, and have stimulated it soconsiderably that Ireland is now the tiger economy of Europe,” Chatersaid. Similarly, Chater predicted that the “centre of [economic]gravity” will move east in the future, in part because Eastern Europeanworkers will take their work experience and new skills back home after a fewyears of working elsewhere in the EU. Research backs up Chater’s views. A study published last week by theEstonian Employers’ Confederation reported that just 8 per cent of Estonianworkers aged 15 to 64 said they wanted permanent work abroad, compared to 75per cent who said they wanted to work abroad temporarily or from time to time. The Estonians’ preferred destination was Finland, followed by Germany andthen the UK. The report by the Praxis Centre for Policy Studies and theUniversity of Tartu said the desire to work abroad had actually dropped since2000. The largest numbers of immigrants seeking jobs in the UK will probably be fromPoland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, suggests Roger Vickerman, professor ofEuropean economics at the University of Kent and a co-author of the reportImmigration, Labour Mobility and EU Enlargement. Vickerman expects the numbers of immigrants generally to be “not large– in the small tens of thousands”. He anticipates that those seeking jobswill know what they are looking for. “They tend to go where there are jobs, where there’s growth inemployment and for jobs to which they are suited” he said. The Migrant Worker Myth: www.personneltoday.com/goto/23199By DeeDee Doke Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.