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Portugal – Workers off to London

05 March 2012

The only Portuguese employment agency in London saw the number of Portuguese immigrants triple in recent months, according to an article from the Portuguese News Agency LUSA.

"In the last three months I have had an average of 80 to 100 people a day looking for jobs," said Domingos Cabecas, head of the Netos Agency. These figures have gone up from an average of 20 to 30 workers looking for work in London. 

The article claims that most of the applicants are Portuguese who have poor English language skills and are looking to work in menial jobs such as in catering, cleaning or construction.  

But many of these workers only intend to stay in these jobs temporarily to gain experience before moving on to another and better job. However, Mr Cabecas believes that this makes it more difficult to place them as employers do not want to hire people who want to stay for such a short time.  

The article seem to confirm that some Portuguese citizens follow the suggestions of the country's secretary of State for youth and sports, Miguel Mestre, who said last year "If people are unemployed they should leave their comfort zone and look [for work] beyond our borders."

Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, has last week estimated that the Portuguese unemployment rate reached 14.8% in January and thus Portugal is one of the three European countries with the highest jobless rates, after Spain and Greece.  

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