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Big business ‘hooked’ on using cheap foreign workers after figues reveal huge number in blue-collar jobs

BIG business was last night urged to wean itself off cheap foreign labour as figures revealed huge numbers of migrants in blue-collar jobs.

Nearly 250,000 Eastern Europeans are employed in manufacturing — ten per cent of the sector’s total.

Foreign nationals account for 11.2 per cent of the UK workforce

And more than half a million EU nationals work in the wholesale and retail trade, including 66,000 Romanians and Bulgarians.

The Office for National Statistics said overall more than 2.2million EU nationals aged 16 to 64 work in Britain.

But 388,000 — 14 per cent — do not have a job.

Big business needs to wean itself of cheap foreign labour[/caption]

In total, foreign nationals account for 11.2 per cent of the UK workforce.

Alp Mehmet, of Migration Watch, said: “Business must focus on the domestic work- force and wean itself off the East European option.

“Employers should turn to overseas workers only when they face skills or labour shortages.”

Poles, Romanians and Bulgarians typically “work more hours and earn lower wages”, the ONS said.

Brits earn an average £11.30 an hour while Romanians and Bulgarians in the UK earn £8.33.

The study showed large numbers of Western Europeans have skilled roles in finance, business services, education and health.

It found 224,000 from the EU14 — West EU members such as Germany, Spain and Italy — were in public administration, education or health sectors.

Prof Jonathan Portes, of King’s College London, said hundreds of thousands of migrants are doing “ordinary, productive, middle- income, middle-skilled jobs — the sort of people our economy actually needs”.

Anna Bodey, ONS migration analyst, added: “Many EU migrants are also more likely to be over-educated for the jobs they are in.”

PM Theresa May says unlimited EU immigration may continue for five years to avoid a Brexit cliff edge.

  • CHANCELLOR Philip Hammond yesterday promised UK tech firms that our borders will stay open to the “brightest and best” migrants after Brexit.


FOUR in ten workers are suffering “shrinking pay”, experts say.

Inflation is rising faster than wage growth in areas like transport and the public sector, the Resolution Foundation think tank said.

Analyst Stephen Clarke added: “Britain’s brief pay recovery has ended.”

But the Office for National Statistics revealed employment rose 39,000 to 31.8million in the three months to February.

The 74.6 per cent in-work rate is joint highest since records began in 1971.