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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 August 2006, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Eastern Europe workers on the up
Migrant workers
The executive said Scotland was attractive to migrant workers
About 32,000 people from Eastern Europe have found work in Scotland since the EU expanded two years ago, according to Home Office figures.

The statistics show that the rate at which workers from Poland, Lithuania and Estonia are coming to Scotland has doubled since 2004.

Most of the migrant workers found jobs in the hospitality and catering sector, followed by agriculture.

A spokesman for the Scottish Executive said the figures were "interesting".

The figures from the first quarter of 2004 until the second quarter of 2006 show a steady rise in the number of migrant workers coming to Scotland, peaking at 32,135.

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The biggest single contingent (8,540) were found in the hospitality and catering industry, followed by 6,410 in agricultural activities, and 4,905 in administrative, business and management services.

A further 4,185 found work in food, fish or meat processing, with 2,040 in construction and land services and 1,485 work in health or medical services.

Commenting on the figures, the executive spokesman said: "They show that the number of workers coming to Scotland has increased.

"In our view, that proves that Scotland was and continues to be an attractive destination for migrant workers.

"Obviously we will consider the report carefully and see how it can help us take forward the Fresh Talent initiative."

The spokesman said many of the incoming Eastern Europeans were filling skills gaps in areas of shortage.

We have to be aware that our public services and housing facilities will struggle to accommodate an endless supply of immigration
Murdo Fraser
Scottish Tory deputy leader

"They obviously complement what Fresh Talent is about, and Fresh Talent is about skilled, motivated, hard-working people," he said.

Scottish Conservative Deputy Leader Murdo Fraser said immigration gave Scotland greater cultural diversity and provided both skilled an unskilled labour.

However, he added: "We have to be aware that our public services and housing facilities will struggle to accommodate an endless supply of immigration.

"There is also a question about hose indigenous Scots who are not working, or who are working but in very low-paid jobs."

The UK Government said they were filling labour gaps in administration, business and management, hospitality and catering.

Home Office Minister Tony McNulty said the migrant workers were "economically productive" and making significant contributions to the UK economy.

Eastern Europeans get to work in Scotland

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