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Migrant Workers Bring Improvements to Businesses

Migrant workers have brought various benefits to their employers that have led to productivity boosts and company expansion, according to a recent study published by the Government.

The benefits brought by migrants included:

  • the ability to train colleagues in new skills such as IT techniques, leading to improvements in day to day working practices, and new innovations,
  • knowledge and skills over and above those outlined in job specifications, such as management experience, language and IT skills,
  • skills that are culturally unique and complementary, rather than directly applicable, to the job role, and
  • an increased talent pool of potential applicants available to businesses.

Employers interviewed for the study valued the breadth of language skills migrants bring, and also the benefits of having a diverse workforce with a global outlook, which can identify opportunities and new commercial openings. Significant benefits arose where migrants assisted a firm’s expansion by sharing insights and connections to new international markets, suppliers and client relationships.

Businesses were clear that without migrants they would face much greater difficulties breaking into new markets and that often migrants helped secure business abroad.

In some cases, hiring migrant workers has brought challenges relating to integration and language, but this has not been insurmountable and has been more than offset in most cases by migrants filling skills gaps and by the contribution of the individuals in post.

“Many British businesses rely on the skills of people from Europe and beyond to fill roles that are not being met by British workers,” commented Business Secretary Vince Cable.

“This research demonstrates that foreign workers not only stimulate growth for British business by introducing new ideas and innovations, but bring their unique overseas networks and cultural knowledge to drive expansion for their company abroad,” he added.

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