It’s unfair to blame immigration cap for hiring problems: Green

Says organisation’s own training policies, reputation, pay matters

5th October 2010: Immigration Minister Damian Green has hit back at the industry for blaming the interim limit for recruitment difficulties. The Minister has asserted factors such as an organisation’s own training policies, corporate reputation and pay  affected its ability to fill up the vacancies; and it was unfair to blame the limits for this.

Green asserted: ‘The ability of employers to fill vacancies is affected by a wide range of factors, including their own training policies, pay and conditions and corporate reputation. In the vast majority of cases it is unfair to blame our limits for recruitment difficulties.

He was defending the government’s decision to introduce an interim limit on skilled workers from outside the EU, in response to concerns raised by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Green, said: ‘The interim limit was introduced to stop a rush of last minute applications ahead of the annual limit being introduced in April next year and the UK Border Agency has been working very closely with businesses to ensure that these arrangements have been implemented effectively.

‘There are millions of people in Britain who employers can freely recruit and I expect companies to look to fill job vacancies from the resident labour force before they look for skills outside the UK.

`Last year, visas were granted to almost 36,000 workers from outside the EU, while we currently have hundreds of thousands of unemployed graduates in subjects such as IT and engineering.’

The CBI is one of the business organisations to have responded to the government’s consultation on the annual limit.

Less than a month after the Business Secretary Vince Cable had warned the government plans to cap non–EU Immigration could hamper the economic recovery, the Employers’ group CBI had joined the tirade.

Its assertion against the cap came as the government was holding consultations on plans to introduce a permanent cap next spring, and has put a temporary limit in place until then.

CBI Deputy Director General John Cridland said the system was proving a real headache for firms trying to keep on valued members of staff, or recruit specialists from overseas.

He added these problems were undermining confidence that the permanent cap would work. The migration system must support, not hamper growth, asserted Cridland.

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