THE number of migrant workers in York has doubled in only three years.

The latest figures available show that the number of National Insurance registrations by foreigners in the city increased from 780 in 2002/03 to 1,560 in 2005/06 according to figures released by the Department of Work and Pensions.

Of those 1,560, 500 were from Polish nationals, 130 from Chinese, 90 from Indians, 60 from Slovaks and the rest made up of various countries including America, Germany, Australia, France and Lithuania. By contrast, in 2002/03 there were no registrations by Polish nationals.

A similar picture is painted around the rest of the area.

In Ryedale there has been a seven-fold increase in registrations, in Selby it has been six-fold and in East Yorkshire there have been more than four times the number of registrations.

Selby MP John Grogan said there are positive aspects to immigration but that more work needs to be done in some areas.

Mr Grogan said: "Migrant workers from other European countries are a fact of economic life in Selby just as for years people from Yorkshire have gone to places like France and Germany to earn a living.

"Many people from Poland in particular have brought energy, enthusiasm and a strong work ethic to firms in the Selby district. On the other hand, I think the Government and employers have a responsibility to ensure that migrant workers who are here for a while have the opportunity to learn English so they can play a full part in local life.

"Many migrant workers work for employment agencies and I also think that the Government needs to strengthen the regulations regarding agency workers so they are not exploited and do not undercut full-time staff."

Figures for Ryedale show that in 2002/03 there were 40 registrations and that this had shot up to 290 in 2005/06.

Of those registrations, 110 came from Poles, around 40 from Slovaks and the remainder made up of a mixture of Czechs, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Indians and Latvians among others. In East Yorkshire the figures have jumped from 320 to 1,490 with around a third of those coming from Polish nationals. In Selby registrations have jumped from 80 in 2002/03 to 470 in 2005/06 with the vast majority again - 340 - coming from Poles.