Indians in Britain may face the axe

Updated on Nov 01, 2007 05:50 PM IST

Prime Minister Gordon Brown says plans are being finalised to control the influx of foreign workers, reports Vijay Dutt.

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HT Image
Hindustan Times | ByVijay Dutt, London

Employment prospects for Indians in Britain could well be hit by the recent revelation that 52 per cent of all new jobs created in the country over the past decade have gone to immigrants.

According to Britain’s National Statistics Office, 1.1 million of the 2.1 million new jobs that have arisen since 1997 have been bagged by people of non-British origin. Another government study released a few days earlier had shown that migrant workers earned on an average £424 a week, while British workers got £395. Foreign born workers, at an estimated 1.5 million, comprised 12.5 per cent of Britain’s workforce, compared to 7.4 per cent a decade ago.

The findings have revived old fears of migrants leaving local workers jobless. They raised such a furore that Prime Minister Gordon Brown intervened on Wednesday declaring plans were being finalised to control the influx of foreign workers. These included introducing a points-based system which would give priority to immigrants with skills needed in Britain, and if required, shut out the others. “Over the next few months, we have decided on changes... so that people can be sure we are taking action that is necessary,” Brown said.

“Any move to control immigration will affect Indian professionals the most,” said Amit Kapadia, convenor of the Asian organisation Highly Skilled Migrant Professionals.

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