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UK missing out on migrant workers? skills

Date 17 Sep 2006

The UK economy could be missing out on the skills of thousands of migrant workers as a result of poor English skills, suggests a report from the Learning and Skills Network.  According to the report, funded by the Learning and Skills Council, the majority of migrants from EU accession countries are highly qualified and skilled. However many are failing to find jobs that match their experience and qualifications because of their poor English skills. Instead they get caught in the trap of low paid, low skilled and temporary employment. Once they are in a job, many migrants work shifts and are poorly paid. This leaves them with little free time to find out about or attend English language classes. Transport problems often make it especially difficult for migrants living in rural areas to attend a course. Darshan Sachdev, Research Manager, Learning and Skills Network said: “Migrant workers are a valuable asset to our growing economy. To unlock their potential the relevant agencies need to take a joined up approach that addresses the multiplicity of issues faced by these people.”

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