A think-tank report examined the concerns raised by business leaders and regional politicians regarding the possible implications if the United Kingdom left the European Union. Concerns raised included: the loss of access to European Union markets; the effects of disruption and uncertainty during the exit phase; loss of access to funding and subsidies, particularly for sectors such as agriculture, fishing, engineering, and the Welsh regions; the potential loss of influence over trade deals and future regulations; and the implications for accessing labour markets and, in particular, the potential loss of rapid access to skilled migrants. The report said that the government would need to plan for such impacts ahead of any exit, and made recommendations.
Source: Jonathan Lindsell, Softening the Blow: Who gains from the EU and how they can survive Brexit, Civitas
A report examined how businesses responded following changes in migration policy (specifically, the introduction of an annual limit of 20,700 skilled workers under Tier 2 General of the Points Based System, and the closure of the Tier 1 General of the Points Based System).
Source: Employer Responses to Migration Policy Changes: Employer recruitment of people from outside the EEA, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
A report examined the impact of the increase in European Union migrant workers on the United Kingdom labour market, and particularly on young UK-born workers. It said that the employment of migrant workers had significant benefits for employers, and that the main reason given for recruiting migrant labour was that employers had difficulty in attracting UK-born candidates to fill unskilled or semi-skilled jobs. The report said there was little evidence to suggest that migrant workers were employed to save wage or training costs, and employers with migrant workers were found to be more likely to offer opportunities such as work experience, internships, and apprenticeships. The report said that migration had been only one factor among many that had affected youth unemployment, and made a range of recommendations to improve employment opportunities for younger UK-born workers.
Source: The Growth of EU Labour: Assessing the impact on the UK labour market, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
A paper examined the labour market position of foreign-born United Kingdom residents (including those who now held United Kingdom citizenship), as related to their original purpose for migrating.
Source: Jacquie Cooper, Stuart Campbell, Dhiren Patel, and Jon Simmons, The Reason for Migration and Labour Market Characteristics of UK Residents Born Abroad, Occasional Paper 110, Home Office
A report examined the prevalence of occupational regulation across the European Union and the economic costs and benefits of occupational regulation in the United Kingdom labour market, with a focus on professions that were regulated through certification, accreditation, or licensing and covered by the European Union's Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive.
Source: Maria Koumenta, Amy Humphris, Morris Kleiner, and Mario Pagliero, Occupational Regulation in the EU and UK: Prevalence and labour market impacts, Queen Mary University of London
An article examined the connection between the demonization, exploitation, and exclusion of new migrant workers in the United Kingdom, and the key role of citizenship in their vulnerability to exploitation, and as a means to make rights claims.
Source: Mick Wilkinson, 'Demonising "the other": British government complicity in the exploitation, social exclusion and vilification of new migrant workers', Citizenship Studies, Volume 18 Number 5
An article examined the socio-economic correlates of migrant workers' unionization. The obstacles to unionization could be considered within a 'triple-challenge' model reflecting factors such as migrant workers' disproportionate location in less unionized companies.
Source: Surhan Cam, 'Non-unionised migrant workers in Britain: evidence from the Labour Force Survey for a triple-challenge model', Economic and Industrial Democracy, Volume 35 Number 3
See also: Surhan Cam, Non-Unionised Migrant Workers: Evidence from the UK Labour Force Survey for a triple-challenge model, Working Paper 149, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
The government began consultation on the United Kingdom government's implementation of the revised European Union Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications directive, which aimed to facilitate further the free movement of professionals through a more efficient and transparent recognition of professional qualifications. The consultation would close on 6 November 2014.
Source: Transposition of the Revised Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Links: Consultation document
A report (by an official advisory body) said that low-skilled work in the United Kingdom accounted for 13 million jobs, two million of which (16 per cent) were held by migrants, split 60:40 non-EEA:EEA (European Economic Area) migrants. The report said that migrant workers overall had not had a significant impact on pay, UK employment, or areas such as housing, healthcare, or education over the last 20 years, but five themes had emerged from the committee's investigation, which should be taken into account in future policy: that key regulatory bodies were under-resourced, and penalties for breaching the regulations were inadequate, leaving workers at risk of exploitation; that there were concerns about the youth labour market in the context of low-skilled work and migration; that there should be greater recognition of, and support for, the economic and social impact of migration on local areas; that demand for migrant labour was strongly influenced by institutions and public policies not directly related to immigration (such as labour market regulation, investment in education and training, and pay levels); and that member states could learn lessons from the 2004 European Union enlargement.
Source: Migrants in Low-Skilled Work: The growth of EU and non-EU labour in low-skilled jobs and its impact on the UK, Migration Advisory Committee
A paper said that there were over six million working age adults in the United Kingdom who were born abroad, with the proportion having doubled between 1995 and late 2013 and 28 per cent of the total having arrived from European Union countries. The paper said that: most European Union arrivals were for work-related reasons, while most non-European Union arrivals were for study-related reasons; most immigrants were better educated than their United Kingdom-born counterparts; and immigrants were over-represented in the very high-skilled and very low-skilled occupations. It said that the immigrant share in new jobs had always been broadly the same as the share of immigrants in the working age population, that there were economic benefits associated with migration (such as filling gaps in the labour market), and that there was little evidence of an overall negative impact on jobs or wages.
Source: Jonathan Wadsworth, Immigration, the European Union and the UK labour market, Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics
An article examined precarious employment of migrant workers in the mushroom industry in Northern Ireland. It said that there was some evidence of borderline forced labour, but that workers were on a 'continuum of exploitation' that originated in uneven power relationships associated with immigration status.
Source: Michael Potter and Jennifer Hamilton, 'Picking on vulnerable migrants: precarity and the mushroom industry in Northern Ireland', Work, Employment and Society, Volume 28 Number 3
An article examined the relationship between social capital and labour market integration of new refugees. It said that length of residency and language competency broadened social networks and, while contacts with religious and co-national groups brought help with employment and housing, the mere possession of networks was not enough to enhance access to employment and the absence of social networks did appear to have a detrimental effect on access to work. The type of social capital appeared to have no significant impact on the permanency or quality of employment, rather, language competency, pre-migration qualifications, and occupations, and time in the United Kingdom were most important in accessing work.
Source: Sin Yi Cheung and Jenny Phillimore, 'Refugees, social capital, and labour market integration in the UK', Sociology, Volume 48 Issue 3
A think-tank report examined the labour market integration of recent immigrants to the United Kingdom, based on Labour Force Survey data. It said that newly arrived immigrants were more likely than non-migrants to be in the lowest-skilled jobs, that those who entered after 2008 found it more difficult to get work, and that newcomers' occupational mobility and employment outcomes were influenced by their countries of origin, levels of education, and time since arrival. The report was part of a series of six case studies on labour market outcomes among immigrants to European Union countries – the other case study countries were: Czech Republic; France; Germany; Spain; and Sweden. The second phase of the study would evaluate the effectiveness of integration and workforce development policies.
Source: Tommaso Frattini, Moving Up the Ladder? Labor market outcomes in the United Kingdom amid rising immigration, Migration Policy Institute
A think-tank report examined the arguments regarding free movement within the European Union. It said that the removal of such rights would be a retrograde step, but argued for modest reforms to address a range of factors of perceived public or political concern.
Source: Alex Glennie and Jenny Pennington, Europe, Free Movement and the UK: Charting a new course, Institute for Public Policy Research
An article examined the growth of low-paid service jobs in London and its relationship to the emergence of the capital as a 'global city', arguing that the critical factor in employment change in the late 1990s was the increase in immigration from poor countries.
Source: Ian Richard Gordon and Ioannis Kaplanis, 'Accounting for big-city growth in low-paid occupations: immigration and/or service-class consumption', Economic Geography, Volume 90 Issue 1
A report by a committee of MPs said that despite earlier recommendations, data of people entering and leaving the United Kingdom was not collected, and the stated goal of full exit checks by 2015 was unrealistic. The committee raised concerns that the government's decision not to commission estimates on the number of Romanians and Bulgarians entering the UK had increased anti-immigrant prejudice. The report highlighted a range of other concerns, including: the lack of evidence regarding alleged 'benefits tourism'; the supply of workers for some sectors; contractual arrangements for work on the Migration Refusal Pool; border controls and alternative routes to citizenship; the detention of vulnerable people and children; the length of time taken to assess new asylum applications; and the lack of progress in clearing backlogs from the Border Agency.
Source: The Work of the Immigration Directorates (April-September 2013), Fifteenth Report (Session 201314), HC 820, House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, TSO
A report examined the impact of inward migration on native workers' employment in the United Kingdom. It said that, overall, there was relatively little evidence that migration had caused statistically significant displacement of UK workers from the labour market during periods of economic strength, but there was evidence of some displacement during the most recent recession. It noted the likely impact of migration volumes on the displacement effects, and said that the displacement tended to be more concentrated on low-skilled workers.
Source: Ciaran Devlin, Olivia Bolt, Dhiren Patel, David Harding, and Ishtiaq Hussain, Impacts of Migration on UK Native Employment: An analytical review of the evidence, Occasional Paper 109, Home Office/Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
An article examined occupational matching of immigrants to European countries. Immigrants were more likely to be both under- and over-educated than native-born people for the jobs that they performed. However, immigrants' outcomes converged with those of native-born people as their labour market experience increased. Immigrant-specific policies in destination countries, such as those improving labour market access, positively affected overall matching: but other policies, such as those improving eligibility or aimed at anti-discrimination might aggravate over-education by attracting a wider range of educated immigrants.
Source: Mariya Aleksynska and Ahmed Tritah, 'Occupation-education mismatch of immigrant workers in Europe: context and policies', Economics of Education Review, Volume 36
See also: Mariya Aleksynska and Ahmed Tritah, Occupation-Education Mismatch of Immigrant Workers in Europe: Context and policies, Working Paper 2011-16, Centre D'Etudes Prospectives et D'Informations Internationales (Paris)
The government published further reports from its ongoing review of the European Union's competences, and how they affected the United Kingdom, which the Foreign Secretary had launched in July 2012.
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Single Market – Free movement of goods, HM Revenue & Customs
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Asylum and non-EU migration, Home Office
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Trade and investment, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Environment and climate change, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Transport, Department for Transport
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Research and development, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Culture, tourism and sport, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Civil judicial cooperation, Ministry of Justice