According to the CIPD report, organisations that employ EU migrant workers are more likely to report business growth over the last two years (51 per cent) compared to organisations that don’t (39 per cent). This suggests that as companies grow and expand, employers rely on migrant workers to fill vacancies. It is stressed, however, that there is little evidence to suggest that migrant workers are being recruited because they are cheaper than UK workers or because they require less training. In addition, the research finds that employers recruiting migrant workers are actually more likely to invest in work experience, internships and apprenticeships. This could be the underlying reason why employers are more likely to offer such when they employ migrant workers. The research also explored the impact of the increase in migrant workers over the last ten years on the UK labour market and in particular youth employment. This found that some younger workers are likely to have found it more difficult to find work since EU8 migrants have had access to the UK labour market as EU8 migrants are typically older, more experienced and better qualified. However, the report points out that migration has only been one factor amongst many in relation to youth unemployment. Other drivers include an increase in the number of older workers, and welfare reforms which have increased the pool of working parents and former unemployment benefit claimants competing for roles. The report concludes that, given the guarantee of freedom of movement to EU migrants, policy makers concerned over the link between migration and youth unemployment should review skills policy and consider how to ensure young UK born workers can compete on a more level playing field not just with migrants but with all older workers. By Shané Schutte
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