The popular misconception about migrants coming to Britain to ‘take jobs’ from the country’s nationals could be as inaccurate as it is unfair, new research suggests.
A survey carried out by the Institute of Directors (IoD) demonstrates that the vast majority of migrants travel to Britain for employment reasons, the most common of which include a job offer that has already been received, in search of a job offer, or to study. Many foreign-born business owners and entrepreneurs employ British workers in their firms and contribute far more to the British economy than they will ever take out; in short, in many cases they are creating jobs rather than taking them.
In the wake of June’s referendum result to leave the EU, it is likely that there will be some changes to immigration and employment laws. While it is important for the government to respond to the concerns of the public, making it difficult for talented entrepreneurs to live and work in the country will ultimately have a detrimental long-term effect on the British economy and a knock-on effect on the country’s inhabitants.
Migrant business owners already report that certain administrative and logistical problems are stunting their professional progress, with issues surrounding the difficulties they face in accessing finance, language barriers and a lack of knowledge about schemes and initiatives designed to help startup businesses just a few of the challenges currently hindering migrant entrepreneurs.
The long and arduous application process surrounding working visas is also slowing down those who want to bring their business visions to fruition. Many may hope for additional help and guidance with these problems – not new legislation that will only cause more problems and delays.
Tackling these problems would allow more bright and talented migrants the opportunity to develop and establish their businesses; in turn, this would give the UK economy a needed boost. With a reported 63% of migrant entrepreneurs reporting that they worked in an established UK business before starting up their own, it is clear to see just how much they can contribute to the economy in terms of working and creating work for others. It is important they continue to be given the help they need to do this successfully as the implications of Brexit begin to unfold.
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