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Skilled migration cap ‘not fit for purpose’

20 Dec 2015

The Institute of Directors has welcomed the Home Affairs Select Committee’s report into the Tier 2 visa system and agreed that the government’s immigration policy is not fit for purpose. The IoD and others, such as British Future, have repeatedly called for the government to launch an independent Comprehensive Immigration Review to set out a sensible plan to manage migration in a way which supports economic growth, works for businesses and addresses public concerns.

Seamus Nevin, Head of Employment and Skills at the IoD said:

“We welcome the Home Affairs Select Committee’s recognition that the government’s immigration cap on skilled workers has been ‘counter-productive’ and is not ‘fit for purpose’. The committee rightly points out that the cap has had ‘no effect’ on reducing net migration but has prevented businesses from recruiting people with the skills they need. The government must listen to the concerns raised by the Home Affairs Select Committee.

“The problems with our immigration system are difficult and politically-charged. The debate has, at times, been toxic, and businesses have found themselves caught between needing to address specific skills shortages to raise productivity while being unfairly attacked for having to hire from overseas. The government’s bizarre and unachievable net migration target has not only caused great difficulties for British employers, but has also put off foreign businesses from investing in the UK.

“The IoD has repeatedly called for a Comprehensive Immigration Review, based on evidence and expert advice. We want to help set out a sensible plan for managing inward migration in a way which supports our economy, works for our businesses and addresses public concerns. At the moment, however, while everything is clouded under the arbitrary net migration target, that is not possible.”

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