More than 50,000 people immigrants from the new EU accession states are planning to seek work in the UK over the next year, according to the Evening Standard.
The new states joining the EU are Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus and Malta.
The newspaper based its estimate of 54,000 on research amongst embassies and expatriate groups and says that many UK employers – particularly the NHS – are already out in Eastern Europe looking for talent.
Evening Standard | 54,000 migrants to come to Britain
In the NHS, the nursing shortage is now so huge that hundreds of east European nurses are expected to arrive within months - boosting their salaries fourfold.
Up to 200 Polish doctors are also poised to move to Britain, and in Hungary officials fear a "brain drain" as people in their twenties and thirties seek work in the UK.