49,000 Indian professionals migrated to UK in 2006-07

Posted July 25th, 2007 by TariqueIndia News By Prasun Sonwalkar, IANS

London : As many as 49,000 professionals from India migrated to Britain during 2006-07, according to latest official figures that show that the largest number of foreign workers came during the year from Poland - 222,000.

After Poland, Indian workers numbered the second highest among foreign workers who were given National Insurance numbers. The NI number is mandatory to take up employment in Britain.

In all, the figures released by the Department of Works and Pensions show that 713,000 NI numbers were issued in 2006-07 and, since 2002, two and a half million foreigners moved to Britain, prompting renewed calls to limit the number of foreign workers into the country.

Damian Green, shadow immigration minister, said: "These extraordinary figures show that over two million new foreign workers have come to Britain in the last four years - and this is simply the number for those who are working legally.

"The numbers coming are not only huge, they are accelerating. It is impossible for the British jobs market to absorb so many people so quickly without causing severe strains.

"This is a graphic illustration of why Conservatives are calling for an explicit annual limit on the numbers allowed to come here to work from outside the EU - nearly 300,000 people arrived here in 2006/7 from the rest of the world.

"Without this control the benefits of immigration will be lost among the social and economic difficulties caused by the sheer scale of the current numbers."

The expansion of the European Union has been the biggest reason for the increase in the numbers. As many as 222,000 Polish people were given National Insurance numbers for the first time in 2006/7, bringing the total to 466,000 in the past four years.

The figure also reveal that the vast majority of people coming here to work from across the world are under the age of 35 and 54 percent were men. The 713,00 figure for the latest year is more than double the 349,000 National Insurance numbers allocated to overseas nationals in the year to April 2003.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The number of National Insurance numbers issued to accession nationals is consistent with Home Office data and shows that people are coming here from the expanded EU to work.

"However, there are legitimate concerns about managing some of the effects of migration on communities. We are listening to these concerns. That is why we have taken a more gradual approach to opening our labour market to people from Bulgaria and Romania by maintaining restrictions and introducing quotas on low-skilled jobs."

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