Today, the British Social Attitudes Survey revealed that Londoners are more welcoming of migrants, as they believe migrants are good for the UK economy. 3,000 Brits participated in the survey conducted by NatCen Social Research. They found that the varied view of immigration depended on both education and geography. The survey also showed that British nationals believe that the majority of migrants come to the UK to work over study. Immigration has become a constant debate in the UK and in the press and individuals are realizing that having an anti-immigration stance can pose as a threat to Britain’s long-term growth.
60% British Graduates believe Immigration has Benefited UK Economy
According to the survey, 60% of British born graduates believe that immigration has benefited the UK economy. 17% of those who hold no qualifications share the same view. It was also found that 54% of Londoners think that migration has a positive impact on the economy, in comparison to 28% of Brits elsewhere in the UK.
The survey also showed that the majority of Brits believe migrants come to the UK to work, whilst a quarter believe it is to claim benefits. Although, it is true that one of the major reasons people come to the UK is to work, people fail to see the positive. The misconception of migrants coming to the UK to work, is that they cause unemployment and depress wages. In 2013, 214,000 migrants came to the UK to work, but in contrast 186,000 British nationals left the UK to work overseas. The effects are minor, as found by the Office of Budget Responsibility, migrants reduce the pressure on the public finances as they are less likely to claim benefits and more likely to pay taxes that the average UK citizen. NatCen’s research also found that 95% said that in order to be “truly British”, you must be able to speak English.
Jim Hart: International Languages Essential for UK’s Future Economic Opportunities
Although it is important for those who come to the UK to be able to speak English, Jim Hart spoke to the Telegraph, about the importance of learning other languages in the UK. It seems that up to 40% of university language departments will close within a decade. The top ten languages identified as the most essential for Britain’s future economic opportunities are Spanish, Arabic, French, Mandarin Chinese, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Turkish and Japanese. Jim Hart stressed the value of bilingualism, highlighting the importance of migrant workers in the UK:
“If our own resources therefore can be seen as inadequate for ambitious exporters why not take advantage of those with well-established language learning practices? If immigrants are sufficiently well-educated and qualified then they can certainly add to Britain’s ability to export and so making use of these linguistic resources would seem a very sensible option.”
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