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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

UK missing out on skills of migrant women, says Green MEP

Jean with Virginia Wangare Greiner, Vice-Chair of the European Network of Migrant Women

11/04/2014 ANTI-IMMIGRATION and poor labour market policies mean the UK is missing out on the skills and abilities of migrants, especially women, according to London’s Green MEP Jean Lambert.

Speaking at a conference organised by the European Network of Migrant Women, Ms Lambert said that London would grind to a halt without the skills of the thousands of migrant women working as nurses, carers, teachers, office and shop workers, engineers and doctors – and in many other professions and temporary roles.

Migration brings net benefits to all Londoners, but the anti-immigration and poor labour market policies of some politicians means we all miss out on what many migrant women have to offer, she said.

“The reality is that the economy, in London and much of the EU, is dependent on migration, yet too many politicians seem to be arguing that we should make it harder for migrants, even those from the EU, to work here in the UK,” said Ms Lambert, who is also the Green Party’s Spokesperson on Immigration.

“In fact we should be welcoming the role that migrant workers – and especially migrant women – play in making our economy work.

“We need to make it easier, not harder, for women to use the skills and qualifications they already have: far too many are working in jobs which don’t match their skill levels, and there are practical measures we can take to address this at national and EU level.”

The conference, which brought together academics and policy-makers – including Jitka Markova, the director of Tower Hamlets young people and women’s centre The Arbour – saw the launch of a new series of pamphlets about how migrant women are seeking to improve access to employment in the EU.

The series includes pamphlets addressing some of the most common problems facing migrant workers abroad: recognition of qualifications, how to prevent de-skilling, and how to set up in self-employment abroad.

For more information about the European Network of Migrant Women, click here

For more information about The Arbour in Tower Hamlets, click here