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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 May 2007, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK
Migrants 'want to settle in UK'
Workers generic
Construction workers were among those interviewed
A growing number of migrants coming to Britain from Eastern Europe may be intending to stay, a survey suggests.

More than one-third of women and a quarter of men said they wanted to stay, many of whom had changed their minds since arriving in the UK.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation's report also found that one in four migrants spends no time with British people.

The study, based on interviews in 2002 and after EU enlargement in May 2004, draws on experiences of 600 migrants.

Construction workers, farm labourers and au pairs were among those interviewed about their lifestyles.

'Treated as equals'

Researchers from Oxford and Sussex universities spoke to migrants from Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Ukraine and Bulgaria.

The government should value migrants as more than simply an economic resource
Julia Unwin
Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Their findings give an indication of migrant workers' attitudes, but do not provide a complete picture as there are no figures showing how many return home.

The foundation's director, Julia Unwin, said their research showed that the government should value migrants as "more than simply an economic resource".

She said ministers "must continue to place importance on ensuring their integration into wider British society, even when their stay is expected to be temporary".

A spokesman for the communities department said he recognised "both new migrants and more settled communities can face challenges when migration patterns change".

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A report by the Commission on Integration and Cohesion next month will put forward proposals on ways to improve integration, such as employers providing English lessons for staff, he said.

But David Green, director of research group Civitas, said some people in the UK were finding it hard to compete with the newcomers.

He said all the extra labour was keeping wages low and making it harder for people to work their way out of poverty.

The report found 6% of those surveyed in October 2002 said they would stay in the UK when they first arrived.

Eighteen months later, of those who remained in the UK, just under a quarter said they would stay permanently.

By the end of 2004, 29% of Eastern European migrants said they would stay "for good".

One in four never socialises with Britons
Three in 10 did not feel Britons treated them as equal
One in three had taken English classes
Two in three did not know how to register with a doctor
Almost half received no information about conditions of their immigration status
Source: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Factors in deciding whether to settle included their legal status, income, gender, where their dependents lived, having friends in the UK and how they were treated, the report said.

Questioned about their experiences in Britain, two-thirds of the sample did not know how to register with a doctor.

Almost half of the migrants had received no information about conditions attached to their immigration status.

Four out of 10 said Britons treated them as equals, but three out of 10 said they did not.

Just one-third had taken English classes and many felt they had only limited contact with British people.

A waitress from the Ukraine said they "do not let you into their circles".

Michal Porzyczkowski, of the Poland Street Association, which represents Polish people in the UK, said migrants settling in the country tended to live and work together.

"So very often they create a sort of bubble, and they don't go outside," he added.

Lithuanian migrants on why they plan to stay in the UK

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