Sunday, February 26, 2017

Migrant Facts

Research Director at UK National Institute of Economic and Social Research ,Heather Rolfe, told DW that the UK government's plans to reduce immigration levels could have negative economic consequences. 

There is a widespread perception in the UK that immigrants, particularly low-skilled immigrants, make more demands on services than they actually do. If you look at the attitudes, people support high-skill immigration and see the need for that. And they support immigration by international students. People recognize they are a benefit to the universities and the economy, but they are much less happy about low-skill immigration and especially asylum seekers and refugees. When Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU, many in the UK feared that immigrants would overwhelm British state institutions and flood the labour market. The real concern around emigration from those countries was that it would put a demand on services, schools, hospitals, housing and our benefits system. The evidence is that that hasn't happened. In fact, those immigrants were able to relieve skill and labour shortages in some of our key industries.

Immigrants from those countries put a third more into the economy with tax revenue than they took out in benefits, such as health and education. The reason for this is that a very high proportion of immigrants from those countries are in work, and a much lower proportion are unemployed, compared to British people. That's simply because they come to the UK to work. Also, it is because they are young and healthy and tend to come without children. Of course, the data also shows that if those immigrants stay and settle, they'll be drawing on education in the longer term. But they are already educated when they come to the UK, which means that a lot of the cost to the economy has been borne by the country of origin.

Immigrant workers tend to be of a higher quality than the UK workers. Part of the reason is education. Their higher standards of education help them learn the job more quickly. But employers say that they also have a different attitude towards work because they are immigrants. They've come to the UK to change their lives, either to get experience and money before going back home, or to make a new life here. So their attitude is different, meaning they will take extra work, extra shifts, they are more flexible and seek promotions in a way British workers are not able to do.

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