Extra foreign workers being considered for Olympics
Research into whether large numbers of extra foreign workers are needed for the Olympic Games has been commissioned by Government immigration advisers.
Published: 8:00AM GMT 09 Jan 2010
The Migration Advisory Committee is asking academics to examine if more immigrants are required to work on the London 2012 Games and other large infrastructure projects.
Officials said the research would examine the policy options available to ministers.
Researchers will also look at whether foreign workers are needed to work on Crossrail, high-speed rail lines and to decommission power plants, the proposal suggests.
The document states: ''The aim of this research is to identify whether the labour needs of large-scale infrastructure projects could be sensibly met through immigration.''
It will look at whether extra skilled or unskilled workers are needed because ''shortages'' occur in large projects.
Academics would also examine if labour shortages can increase the cost of projects and lead to delays.
The research will be commissioned next month and published by the end of March.
But critics said it would be ''inexcusable'' to encourage more immigration with so many British workers out of jobs. Nearly two and a half million people are unemployed.
Last week it emerged the number of foreign-born workers in employment rose by 22,000 during the recession, while the number of British-born workers in a job fell by 625,000.
The committee's analysis of official figures found there were 25,104,000 British-born workers compared with 3,730,000 born abroad.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said: ''These studies are an open invitation to the immigration industry and to employers who want cheap labour.
''With two and a half million unemployed already it would not be sensible to promote further immigration, it would be inexcusable.''
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