A sudden introduction of a cap on net migration would lead to a UK skills crisis, comments CIPD in relation to quarterly migration figures.

  2nd September 2010      
 CIPD, Company News, Employment

The drastic decline in the amount of work visas over the last 12 months adds further support the current points-based system is effective, states The Charted Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) when responding to the ONS Migration Statistics Quarterly Report. The statistics demonstrate how the amount of overseas nationals who are given work visas has dropped by 14% within the last 12 months from 187,000 to 161,000.

When looking at the current, effective measures of migration, the CIPD believe that the sudden introduction of capping skilled migrants who are not in the EU would have negative consequences on companies who are looking to employ workers in areas where there is a lack of skilled workers from the UK, like engineering. Rather, the points-based system should carry on, along with improved attention on developing UK talent in the areas where there is a lack of skilled workers. Therefore, this will slowly decrease net immigration on a long-term scale.

Gerwyn Davies, Public Policy Adviser, CIPD, said, “Today’s figures offer further evidence that the points-based system is robust and working. The reality is that employers would rather not hire labour from outside the EU because it is costly and time-consuming, but many are forced to because of the skills shortages that still exist in the UK. 

“Organisations are spending considerable sums of money trying to address this shortage, with training spend per employee averaging almost two thousand pounds per year.  What’s more, the training needs of staff in shortage occupations is regulated by the Migration Advisory Committee, who can withdraw certain occupations from the shortage occupation list if they feel employers are not doing enough to train up staff – as they have done with the care sector.  The idea therefore that employers are sitting on their hands is simply not true.

“The reality for employers is that training workers to plug the UK skills gap is a lengthy task.  The abrupt introduction of a radical cap would therefore leave many employers with a bigger skills problem and tempt employers with global operations to offshore jobs, where they can find the skills.”

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