Skilled migrant workers are being used by a significant number of companies in the UK, which claim they cannot always find adequately trained Britons for the job.

That is according to new research conducted by the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC), which has revealed that approximately a quarter of businesses employ migrant labour.

The BCC said businesses made the decision "because of a shortage in suitable local candidates with the requisite skills, experience and work ethic".

Commenting on the effects of the recession on companies in the UK, David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "This downturn has largely allied the interests of employers and employees. Employers want to retain their skilled and experienced staff, while employees want to remain in work and are often prepared to take pay cuts and freezes to do so."

Businesses are, the BCC statistics reveal, willing to support their employees as the statistics reveal that 84 per cent of flexible working requests are given to staff. recently reported that the recession and stricter laws governing visas were forcing Australians to leave the UK and return home to find work.