Limiting non-EU workers could have damaging effects on business

More than one fifth employers recruiting migrants in first quarter of 2011

9th March, 2011: Keeping out skilled non-EU workers could have genuine and damaging effects on business and the public sector, as per findings of a report.  The report states, in fact, the demand for migrant workers has increased despite rising levels of unemployment.

linecook2.jpgThe Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and KPMG have stated that more than a fifth of employers were planning to recruit migrant workers in the first quarter of 2011.

However, 17 per cent of UK employers have been prevented from recruiting non-EU migrant workers due to the temporary cap on non-EU migrants.

Under coalition government’s plans, this is due to end in April 2011 to be replaced with a permanent cap.

Almost two thirds (63 per cent) of UK employers report that non-EU workers have allowed them to increase productivity, raising concerns over a potential fall in output from Q2 onwards.

Some 43 per cent of the 759 employers surveyed claimed they are struggling to fill vacancies from within the UK.

Gerwyn Davies, CIPD public policy adviser and author of the report, said the introduction of the temporary cap has had an impact on employers’ ability to fill vacancies and improve productivity.
He added that it remained doubtful, whether the increase, in the number of employer-related visas issued by the government for the next year, will be enough to address the projected increase in the demand for migrant workers.
 Davies pointed out that UK still had skills shortage in many key areas, and the number of non-EU workers amounted to the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands.

 He further asserted that while it was right to highlight their concern about rising unemployment. At the same time they should not overlook the advantages and useful skill and experience that a relatively small number of non-EU workers brought to the UK economy.

Keeping out skilled non-EU workers would not help unemployed people in the UK in the near term, but could affect the business and the public sector, he added.

Last week, quarterly immigration statistics revealed that around 572,000 people entered the UK on a long-term basis in the year to June 2010, while 346,000 emigrated. This represented a 36 per cent increase over the over the 12-month period.

On the other hand, Immigration minister Damian Green said the statistics reinforced, why the coalition was fundamentally reforming the immigration system to bring net migration down to the tens of thousands by 2015.

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