However, London is counting on a relative improvement in recent times regarding the jobs crisis in a number of important sectors. According to a report by British Sky News, rising immigration rates – despite Brexit – thanks to the influx of skilled workers from Asia and Africa are helping to fill the employee shortage.
Companies are taking advantage of the new post-Brexit immigration system to bring in IT professionals, nurses and accountants. Since January 2021, the new system has made it easier for workers from outside Europe to enter the UK, despite higher fees. While the number of European immigrants has declined in recent years, this has been offset by a significant increase in immigrants from other parts of the world. Contrary to some initial forecasts, post-Brexit Britain has seen an increase in immigration.
In addition, official statistics, released on Thursday, showed net immigration rose to 606,000 in the year ending December 2022. The number surpassed its previous post-war high, which is 504,000 immigrants in the year ending last June. year – and it comes despite the 2019 Conservative Party Manifesto pledge to “reduce overall immigration numbers”.
Long-term migration totaled around 1.2 million in 2022, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. Most people who arrived in the UK last year came from outside the European Union (925,000), followed by the European Union (151,000). Although immigration rose last year, long-term estimates of international migration “suggest growth has slowed in recent quarters.”
It comes at a time when many businesses are struggling to hire locally, but the UK labor market remains tight and levels of economic inactivity are high.
A previous report published by the British newspaper ‘The Guardian’ this week highlighted the gap between labor market needs and the skills required to meet those needs, and in light of Britons’ reluctance to a certain number of jobs that depended on a certain number of employees from Eastern Europe in particular.
The crisis is still here
London-based researcher, British Labor Party member, Mustafa Rajab, says in exclusive statements to Sky News Arabia Economy website, that the problem of labor shortage in some important and main sectors still looms over the scene in the United Kingdom and is under great pressure, while some have been resolved, in part through the involvement of the army, as well as by facilitating the recruitment and residence of workers, especially from Eastern Europe .
He points out that expatriates with Eastern European expertise were the ones specifically relied on to fill these jobs, filling the gap represented by driving trucks loaded with freight, in addition to doctors, nurses and some technical jobs. They are not believed to have been compensated by other alternatives as required.
He explains that with the exacerbation of the crisis at the beginning, and during and after the Corona pandemic, the army worked to solve it by participating in the transport of goods to alleviate the severity of the suffocating crisis and the shortage of drivers , which has helped to solve part of the crisis that still exists in some important sectors, and work is underway. To remedy this through a set of aforementioned measures, the most important of which is to facilitate the residence of workers from the east of the continent (after their recruitment processes were affected after Brexit and the Corona pandemic).
According to the Office for National Statistics, last year was a unique year for migration due to “world events”, including the war in Ukraine and the unrest in Hong Kong.
Data released by the office indicates that the number of arrivals on humanitarian routes has increased over the 12-month period. The main drivers of the increase were people coming to the UK from non-EU countries for work, study and for humanitarian purposes, including from Ukraine and Hong Kong.
This comes at a time when the UK economy is under a significant set of pressures, and in light of high inflation rates, which are still high despite their recent single-digit decline, and despite the relatively positive estimates issued by the International Monetary Fund recently.
The Fund said on Wednesday it no longer expects Britain’s economy to fall into recession this year, as it updated forecasts released last month, but warned the outlook remained weak. The Fund expected UK GDP to grow by 0.4% in the current year 2023, after it expected it to contract by 0.3% in its previous forecast. April, but those expectations are lower than any major economy.
According to data released by Sky News two days ago, India, South Africa and Ghana are among the countries that have succeeded in entering the UK labor market.
5,133 skilled worker visas were granted in Ghana between 2019 and 2022. Their numbers are growing at a steady pace, as are Nigerians who were granted 20,468 visas during the same period. The number of skilled immigrants obtaining visas from South Africa rose to 6,784. Indians dominate skilled worker visas with 116,301 visas.
Several sectors are benefiting from the influx of labour. The main among them are the health sector, software engineers, IT, chefs, licensed and certified accountants, nurses, social workers and even clerics, hairdressers, tailors, gardeners , librarians, butchers and bakers. Migrants are also filling skill gaps in the country’s food supply chains.
Difficult economic conditions
For her part, the researcher in international economy, Dr. Samar Adel, indicates in exclusive statements to the site “Sky News Arabia Economy” that the British economy is facing a suffocating crisis since the exit of the United Kingdom from the Union. Europe, passing through the consequences of the Corona pandemic, then the war in Ukraine and its various economic repercussions. Trade with the countries of the European Union has been affected after the “Brexit”, all factors which, together, strongly affected the various economic sectors and negatively the size of employment.
She pointed out that this scene is also taking place in parallel with the cost of living crisis experienced by the British, in a country which has recently experienced inflation rates unprecedented in almost four decades (before rates slowed down). ), in the light of the sharp increase in food prices, explained at the time The same applies to the downtime that accompanied the Corona pandemic, which negatively affected all economic activities and led to the exit of employment from certain sectors, which strongly affected the labor market in Great Britain.
The latest data from the UK Office for National Statistics showed that annual consumer price inflation in the country has slowed at the fastest rate in nearly 30 years, from 10.1% in March 8, 7% in April, and it is also the first time that inflation has fallen. in single digits since last August. The Office for National Statistics said the drop in inflation was mainly due to gas and electricity costs, which remained stable in April compared to the unprecedented jump recorded in the same month last year.
And Adel continues: At the same time, the labor market in Britain is still experiencing widespread unrest, not only in terms of shortages of workers in certain sectors, but also due to the impact of high prices on the living conditions of workers. , which has led to the protests and strikes Britain has witnessed in recent months in light of the high cost of living, and it has social repercussions as well.
UK Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt has reiterated the need to stick to the government’s plan to bring inflation down, after official data showed a decline in price rises in April. “While it is positive that (inflation) is now in single digits, food prices continue to rise very rapidly,” Hunt said in a statement Wednesday. “We must firmly adhere to the plan to reduce inflation.”
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