Sunday, February 18, 2007

Exposed by TV in Romania... how easy it is to get a British job

The Evening Standard

Illegal: Romanian reporter gets job on a building site without a work permit

Thousands of Eastern Europeans are finding legal employment in Britain despite Ministers' claims that work permit restrictions would limit numbers. An undercover report on peak-time Romanian TV showed how easy it is to get work.

Almost a million viewers watched the show, in which reporter Sorin Damaschin travelled to London with no work permit or contacts and landed a legal job on a building site.
The Government says new immigrants must register with the Home Office. But the reporter easily found work in London without doing so.

Mr Damaschin said: 'Finding a legal job was easier than I expected and the restrictions are not as strict as they appear.' More than 1,000 Romanians went to the UK in the first ten days of 2007 following the country's accession to the EU, according to his report.

Mr Damaschin took a bus from Konstanta in Romania to Victoria Station for about £130.
In London, he met other Romanians who told him the easiest way of getting a job.
He found that established immigrants sometimes charge fees to tell newcomers how to get around work permit restrictions.

But Mr Damaschin said: 'I did not do any research into the illegal job market. But there are easy ways to get a legal job quickly. 'One is to become a student or register for a language course, which brings the right to work part-time.

'The quickest solution is getting a Construction Industry Scheme card. Once I got one I managed to find a job instantly.' Despite having no experience in construction, Mr Damaschin got a card by claiming he was a professional construction worker, and effectively becoming self-employed.

Costel Petre of Romanians in the Third Millennium, which helps immigrants in the UK, said: 'To become self-employed you need to register with Inland Revenue. Authorities claim registering with Home Office is compulsory, but this is not true.'

HM Revenue and Customs admitted there are no restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarians applying for the cards.

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