Non-EU skilled workers are shunning UK

07 Jul 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The number of skilled migrant workers coming to the UK from outside Europe has fallen, according to new research.

The University of Oxford’s Migration Observatory study revealed that the figure fell by around a third from 2011 to 2013. The overall figures for UK immigration by skilled workers - such as those from UK work permits - showed there was an estimated 28,000 in the country last year, down by about 10 per cent compared to 2011.

There are now more workers coming to the UK ‘older’ EU nations such as France and Germany, while the figure for non-EU migrants has fallen, the study revealed.

The report was carried out for the Financial Times amid concerns that anti-immigration rhetoric from Government ministers is putting off skilled people from coming to the UK, and fears that this is affecting the economy, Left Foot Forward reported.

The FT said: “While researchers stop short of blaming policy changes for the decline in skilled specialists from Asia, Africa and the Americas, the findings are clear: the reduction in non-EU hires between 2011 and 2013 has been mirrored by a corresponding 53 per cent rise in highly skilled migrants from older EU countries such as France and Germany.”

The director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), John Cridland, said that the perception abroad is that the UK is no longer open to overseas entrepreneurs, investors or skilled migrant workers.

The situation has been exacerbated by the end of the highly skilled visa route to UK entry in 2001 and the post-study work visa for overseas graduates who had studied in the UK.