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The public sector is more likely than the private sector to continue to hire immigrant workers

The recession has not dampened employers' enthusiasm for hiring migrant workers.

Just under one in five (19%) employers recruited migrant workers in the past three months, with public-sector employers more likely to hire migrant workers than private sector employers (24% compared with 15%), according to the CIPD/KPMG Labour Market Survey. 

The survey of over 700 employers still exposes skills shortages. Approximately two in five (41%) employers have vacancies that are hard to fill. 

One in 10 private-sector organisations also plan to outsource jobs abroad in the next 12 months, with almost half (44%) of IT companies and almost one in five (17%) of manufacturing companies planning to outsource employment abroad.

The most popular destinations for outsourced jobs are India and Eastern Europe - more than half (51%) plan to relocate UK jobs to India and more than a third (37%) plan to shift jobs to Eastern Europe.  

Gerwyn Davies, public policy adviser at the CIPD, said: "Despite rising unemployment, employers are still struggling to recruit the people they need and we are looking abroad to plug the gap. Through a combination of recruiting migrant workers to fill UK vacancies, or outsourcing work to locations abroad, employers are looking to strike the right balance between the skills for the job and the cost reductions needed to meet budget targets.

"To help minimise further outsourcing of jobs abroad, the Government needs to do all it can to curb rising wage costs. A good start would be abandoning the National Insurance Contribution increase, planned for 2011, as well as enforcing a real-terms freeze on the National Minimum Wage for adults and an absolute freeze for younger workers between the ages of 16-21."