New study shows

Migrant stimulate growth and drive expansion in businesses

GMT 15:51 Wednesday ,18 March 2015

 Migrant Voice - Migrant stimulate growth and drive expansion in businesses

Allison McLellan

Migrants increase productivity and innovation in the workplace, according to a study by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The study, published 24 Feburary 2015, outlines the contributions of migrant workers on UK businesses and found that migrants provide a pool of uniquely talented applicants. They assist in training of colleagues in new technologies that they have experience in and have exhibited qualifications greater than those given in job descriptions. These include IT skills and management experience. Migrants provide uncommon talents from individual cultures that prove integrative to the job and satisfy roles not filled by British workers. They also fill shortages in the labour market.

The research focuses on skills, innovation, knowledge sharing, training, international connections, and integration to assess the immigrants' impact on the workplace. The employers interviewed found the workers’ extent of language skills, diverse perspectives, and global outlook have provided exploratory insights towards approaching challenges and creating new products or processes, as well as connections with international clients. One example includes a social enterprise project to assist people in growing their own food in which migrant workers from Hong Kong used research of rooftop gardens there to facilitate new projects. These aspects not only allow businesses to break into new markets, but also increase expansion and competitiveness.

The report also mentions issues encountered such as language barriers and integration. Most of these problems occurred within lower skilled industries in which management did not proactively address divides in the workplace. There are some additional costs to improve communication problems, but these are feasible to overcome, the study reporting that "most businesses deemed [the costs] worthwhile." The benefits brought to the businesses by migrant employees more than counteract these concerns.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said, "This research demonstrates that foreign workers not only stimulate growth for British business by introducing new ideas and innovations, but bring their unique overseas networks and cultural knowledge to drive expansion for their company abroad."



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