Portuguese workers flood Britain

By Brendan de Beer, in News · 06-03-2014 14:24:00 · 4 Comments
Portuguese workers flood Britain

The world’s oldest alliance is as strong as ever, judging by the number of Portuguese nationals arriving in the United Kingdom which, up until the year ending September 2013, soared by 47 percent in relation to the previous year, a report by the Office for National Statistics has revealed. Based on these figures, one in every four Portuguese nationals leaving the country is en-route to Britain.

According to Office’s quarterly report on Migration Statistics in the UK, the number of Portuguese looking to settle in Britain was up by almost ten thousand people last year, climbing to 30,120 official arrivals who were recorded at British national insurance offices.
Portugal was only second behind Italy in terms of growth in arrivals to work in the UK, with the number of Italians up by 66 percent.
Portugal was also among the five biggest foreign working communities in Britain, behind Poland (111,450), Spain (51,730) and Italy (44,110).
Some 532,000 people migrated to the UK in the year ending September 2013, up from the 497,000 people who arrived during the previous year, while 320,000 left the country, down from the 343,000 the previous year.
The net influx of 212,000 long-term migrants to the UK is a statistically significant increase from 154,000 in the previous year and is more than double the 100,000 limit British Prime Minister David Cameron had pledged back in 2012 as he sought to appease the growing anti-immigration and anti-Europe lobbies.
The Office further revealed that 24,000 citizens of Romania and Bulgaria also arrived in the year to September 2013, up almost three times the 9,000 who arrived in the previous year. More than two-thirds arrived to work. However, these figures do not take into the account the projected increase in Romanians and Bulgarians since working restrictions were lifted at the beginning of the year.
On the other hand, immigration of non-EU citizens saw a statistically significant decrease to 244,000 in the year ending September 2013 from 269,000 the previous year. This is due to fewer new Commonwealth citizens migrating to the UK for formal study and to further their education.
Despite Downing Street’s increasingly populist battle against immigration it emerged on Wednesday that the coalition reportedly blocked the publication of a government-commissioned report stating the impact on British jobs was beneath that claimed by Conservative ministers.
UK Home Secretary Theresa May has meanwhile opted to repeatedly cite a 2012 migration study showing that 23 British workers were forced to join dole queues with the arrival of every 100 immigrants.

BBC’s Newsnight programme said this week the unpublished research is not nearly as negative and that immigration has a much lower cost on the lives of British workers.
Number 10 has reportedly said the reason the report has not been made public was due to the fact that it had not yet been completed.
Meanwhile, national figures released for 2013, found that up to 120,000 Portuguese nationals left this country during that year in search of a brighter future.
Portuguese government authorities said these figures were in line with those recorded in 2012, when just under 120,000 Portuguese emigrated.
José Cesário, State Secretary for Portuguese Communities, said he believed this number did not increase in 2013, not because of improving conditions in Portugal, but because jobs in traditional immigration hot spots are starting to dwindle.
Figures for 2011 showed the emigration figure in Portugal to be at 44,000, almost double the 23,000 recorded in 2010.
Recent figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations show that almost 1.5 million Portuguese nationals are living in other OECD countries, outside Portugal, and ten percent of these are graduates.
With a total of 14.2 percent of its population living beyond national borders, Portugal is one of the OECD’s Member States with the highest rate of emigration, along with Ireland (16.1 percent), Mexico (12.1 percent), and New Zealand (13.9 percent).
Concerning immigration to Portugal, this figure peaked in 2001 with 150,000 new arrivals. It has fallen steadily since, and currently stands at around 33,000.
In terms of qualified professionals, Portuguese nurses have been leaving in their droves since the onset of the crisis, with the United Kingdom once again being a preferred destination.
The number of Portuguese nurses arriving and registering for work in the United Kingdom has experienced a forty-fold increase over the last six years to become the second largest nationality in terms of new registrations according to recent statistics from the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Between 1 April 2012 and 19 March 2013, a total of 773 Portuguese nurses registered with the council, which regulates access to the profession, against a total of twenty in the same period over 2006/07.
The data was requested by the Portuguese Nursing Diaspora organisation with co-founder Nuno Pinto explaining the rise as being due to the quality of Portuguese nurses.
“We are almost like diamonds as our levels of training are among the best in Europe and, consequently, when we arrive anywhere, we have this great capacity to adapt,” said Pinto, who stressed that this professional posture combines with technical and theoretical knowledge.
Pinto also accepted that the British coalition government’s restrictions on importing non-EU labour had played its own part.
“We are the new Philippinos (…), there are also many Spanish and Italians, but we speak better English and are better prepared,” he said in comments to Lusa News Agency.
Whilst the United Kingdom is currently the most popular emigrant destination for Portuguese nurses, New Zealand, Australia, the United States, the Middle East and Singapore are all attracting growing numbers.


Will people stop flogging the dead horse about the 'oldest alliance'? Nobody in the UK knows or cares about it any more, and the British government said it was an anachronism and an embarrassment over fifty years ago, after India kicked Portugal out of Goa, and Salazar said that the UK should have helped.

Pleased to see that more intrepid Portuguese have weaned themselves off Europe and are looking to the Asia Pacific region. Emirates fly to Lisbon from Dubai, and I hear the planes are full.

by O Britânico from UK on 13-03-2014 04:03:00

I welcome the Portuguese as hard working pleasant people as an asset to any community. Also they don't promote terrorism like so many of our new citizens from outside the Eu .

by Nigel from UK on 07-03-2014 02:44:00

Well done to the Portuguese why not come her,British take jobs in your country most not even on contract which is a strict employment law that needs abolishing in Portugal as it stop`s employers taking on staff and having to issue a 6 month contract when only 4 months work is guaranteed in the tourist trade and all the cost of contract extra`s.

by troy from UK on 07-03-2014 09:13:00

I would like to see the 30.00o workers (one quarter) compared to the number of workers going to France (the traditional desitination) and Germany (the new destination).

by Cees from Algarve on 07-03-2014 08:58:00
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