British employers are keener to recruit migrant workers than high school graduates, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Demand for migrant workers has increased to a record high, with one-quarter of employers planning to hire migrant workers in the third quarter of 2011. In response to an annual cap on non-European Union (EU) migrants, more employers said they will hire EU migrant workers (34 per cent) than up-skill existing workers (23 per cent) or recruit more graduates (18 per cent). Almost one in 10 employers (eight per cent) said they would offshore jobs abroad, found CIPD.
Employers' overall hiring intentions for young people have fallen since the spring of 2010 — only 12 per cent plan to hire 16-year-old graduates in the three months to September 2011, down from 14 per cent. Similarly, the number of employers planning to recruit graduates aged 17 to 18 and above has fallen to 25 per cent from 31 per cent in the same period.
And the number of employers planning to take on higher education graduates under the age of 24 is 38 per cent, compared to 47 per cent last year, found the survey. However, the government's efforts to boost the employment of apprentices appears to be working, as 37 per cent of respondents plan to recruit apprentices compared with 24 per cent last year.
"Youth unemployment looks set to rise further amid employer concerns about the employability of young people,” said Gerwyn Davies, public policy advisor at CIPD. “The migration cap is stemming the flow of skilled non-EU migrant workers on the one hand, but increasing the supply of EU workers with the other, which highlights the relative ineffectiveness of the cap in bringing net migration levels down.
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