Academic provides House of Lords with evidence on economic immigration to Wales
A Swansea University academic has given evidence on the impact of economic immigration to Wales to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs.
Dr Heaven Crawley (pictured), Director of the University's Centre for Migration Policy Research, was invited to appear before Committee earlier this week (Tuesday, December 11), as part of a wider inquiry into the economic impact of immigration on the UK economy.
The inquiry is in response to the increase in economic migration to the UK associated with the accession of eight Central and Eastern European countries to the EU in May 2004.
Since that time, just over 16,000 migrants have registered to work in Wales, two thirds of whom are from Poland. More than half of these workers are living in just four local authorities; Carmarthenshire, Cardiff, Newport, and Wrexham.
Dr Crawley provided evidence to the Committee about what is currently known about the numbers of migrants in Wales and their characteristics, the impacts of inward migration on the labour market – particularly wage levels, unemployment and inactivity – and about estimates of economic growth or loss resulting from migration.
She also provided the Committee with an overview of the areas of Wales in which migrants choose to live, the types of employment in which they are engaged and their ability to access the services and support necessary to contribute to the labour market.
Dr Crawley, who was previously Head of Asylum and Immigration Research at the Home Office and Associate Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research, said: "Economic migration to Wales is nothing new, but over recent years we have seen a step-change in the scale and composition of migration flows.
"Evidence on the economic impacts of immigration suggests that the growth in the migrant workforce has been almost entirely positive yet sections of the public are increasingly concerned about the implications of inward migration for public services including housing, education and health.
"The Committee's inquiry provides an excellent opportunity to explore these issues in more detail and to consider the implications for policy making in Wales."
For more information on the Centre for Migration Policy Research at Swansea University, visit the Centre's website.