Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Mr. Lilley: [80705]

    Ruth Kelly: To the extent that immigration were to add proportionately less to some skill groups than others, it would tend to raise their relative wage rates. If immigration did not change the skill composition of the labour force or productivity, it should have no lasting effect on either absolute or relative rates of pay.

    Nevertheless research in the UK suggests that, if anything, migrants have had a positive impact on the wage levels of native workers among both groups. Migrants have contributed to economic growth, productivity and the public finances. Work-related immigration schemes in the UK are targeted to meet the needs of sectors where there are skills and labour shortages (for example the seasonal agricultural workers scheme), and are developed in conjunction with both sides of industry.