East Anglia has UK’s highest percentage of migrant workers

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A NEW survey has shown that nearly two fifths of East Anglian bosses rely on migrant workers to bolster their workforce.

According to the Close Business Barometer, a study of 556 business in the UK published by Close Invoice Finance, 39 per cent of companies in the region employ foreign nationals.

It is the highest percentage of migrant workers in the country, well above the national average of 30.4 percent.

Of the businesses that do employ foreign workers, 45 per cent say they do so because they are the best people for the job.

Andrew Denny, chairman of Bury St Edmunds Chamber of Commerse, said more could be done in vocational education in the UK.

He said: “It demonstrates how important migrant workers are to the East Anglian economy.

“But I think the higher figure reflects how close we are to mainland Europe.

“As an employer, we expect to have to train our staff in how to operate machinery or how the system in the office works but the main thing I look at is the person’s attitude, it is vital. If someone has taken the trouble to travel across Europe to get work I would say they have a good attitude and work ethic. But there are just as many people who have the same work attitude and ethic here. It is a great shame that it is seen that if you are good at school you take academic classes and if you are not so good, you go into vocational classes.

“Every student will have to go into employment one day so I think teaching them about the world of work and business is a very important gift to students.”

Commenting on the findings, Rob Harris, local head of Close Invoice Finance, said: “British companies need to attract the brightest and best talent in order to compete in the globalised economy and as our findings show, it isn’t about where the person comes from, it’s whether or not they have the skills to do the job.”