Migrants fill 20% of passenger transport roles

People 1st, the industry’s skills and workforce development charity, has shown that migrants People-1stare playing what it describes as an ‘increasingly important role’ in the passenger transport industry. Its figures show that over 20% of all jobs in the sector are filled by people from abroad. This covers all levels of business, according to the organisation. Immigrants make up 19% of staff working in the bus sector, says the report.

People 1st’s study, ‘Migrants in the Passenger Transport Industry’, shows the number of migrants in managerial roles has risen 15% in the past five years. This is particularly noticeable in taxi and private hire companies, where 38% of managers are migrants, and aviation services and rail, where the figures are 37% and 19% respectively. According to the research, the benefits of hiring migrants include the fact they: are more flexible than British workers; generally have better soft skills than UK workers; and are more willing to accept a job with potentially poor pay, poor working conditions and that may be lower than their skill level due to their willingness to work. The report found many of these migrant workers are concentrated in four key areas; London (47%), West Midlands (33%), West Yorkshire (27%) and Greater Manchester (26%).

Executive Director at People 1st, Martin-Christian Kent, said, ‘It’s a simple fact that without migrants working in our industry, we would have far greater skill gaps and skills shortages that we currently do. Overall, 48% of passenger transport vacancies are considered hard-to-fill, but the number goes even higher when you look at taxi and private hire (59%) and bus and coach (55%). It’s perhaps not surprising that urban areas like London and Manchester have higher rates of migrants working in passenger transport, as cities traditionally attract more migrants than rural or coastal areas.’

Martin-Christian noted that while migrants clearly play a key role in the passenger transport industry and will continue to do so for many years, the report also highlights alternatives to recruiting migrant staff members. He said, ‘Last year we launched a national register for driver trainers in the bus and coach industry and another for taxi and private hire drivers, both of which recognise the high level of professionalism required to work in these roles. We’ve also developed a specific pre-employment training programme, Employment 1st, which prepares people looking for their first job in passenger transport, gives them the basic knowledge they will need and can be delivered through employers as part of their induction training. Finally, our dedicated careers website, www.careersthatmove.co.uk, helps attract jobseekers into the sector and offers employers the opportunity to advertise for free to interest jobseekers.’

Visit www.people1st.co.uk to download a copy of the ‘Migrants in the Passenger Transport Industry’ research report.

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