November 22, 2006


Eastern Europeans take jobs Britons don't want (Nigel Morris, 22 November 2006, Independent)

The number of immigrants from the EU's new member states registering to work in this country has reached half a million for the first time since the EU expanded in May 2004.

By far the biggest group are Poles, who make up 307,660 of the new arrivals, followed by 54,640 Lithuanians and 50,230 Slovakians.

Office and business jobs were the most popular, with east Europeans filling 169,130 such posts, and just over 100,000 are working in restaurants, bars and catering. Agricultural work - the vast majority in seasonal employment - and factory jobs also had high numbers registering. But a detailed breakdown by the Home Office of the figures demonstrates the extraordinary variety of jobs filled by the newcomers, many of whom stay for a year or two before returning home.

They include 2,450 bus drivers, 2,020 bakers, 1,495 gardeners, 920 child-minders, 370 road sweepers, 355 civil engineers, 305 accountants, 165 hospital consultants, 140 software analysts and 120 fishermen. There were even 50 musicians, 40 opticians, 15 circus performers, 10 authors, 10 physiologists and five ship's captains.

More than four-fifths of the newcomers were aged between 18 and 34 and nearly 60 per cent were male.

Contrary to expectations, only a minority are heading for London and the South- east. With 73,035 workers, eastern England is the favourite destination, reflecting its large amount of agricultural land and heavy concentration of food processing factories.

But they are moving to every part of the UK in the search for the work, including 37,570 in Scotland, 12,670 in Wales and 18,530 in Northern Ireland.

Liam Byrne, the Immigration minister, said the new workers were "benefiting the UK, by filling skills and labour gaps that cannot be met from the UK-born population".

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 22, 2006 9:20 AM

" ... five ship's captains." Poor dears, they probably think Britannia still rules the waves.

Posted by: erp at November 22, 2006 10:44 AM