Skilled UK work permit holders 'make major contribution to UK economy'

22 Sep 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

UK immigration by skilled overseas workers on UK work permits helps to boost the British economy by around £210 billion annually, a report for Lloyds Bank has revealed.

The study, carried out for the bank by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), found that there are now 4.6 million people in the UK workforce that were born outside of Britain. The figure for what the report called ‘inpats’ has increased from 2.6 million at the start of 2004.

It said they played a crucial role in the UK’s growth, with those from within Europe responsible for producing around £75 billion for the economy, or around six per cent of Gross Added Value (GVA). In total, immigrant workers from across the globe are estimated to add around 15 per cent or £210 billion to the UK’s GVA.

Jamsheed Poncha from Lloyds Bank told the International Business Times: "The findings of the research clearly demonstrate the strength of the UK economy and its ability to attract a highly qualified professional workforce from around the world. The contribution inward talent can make to key industries is impressive, as it ultimately helps the economy prosper even more."

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said that Prime Minister David Cameron’s target of reducing net migration was probably unachievable due to the difficulty in accurately predicting immigration trends.

NIESR director Jonathan Portes said: "All the evidence suggests that forecasting migration is very, very difficult – which is one of the reasons why it was stupid to have a target in the first place."