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CIPD responds to ONS migration figures

Commenting on today’s ONS Migration Figures, Ian Brinkley, Acting Chief Economist at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, says:

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“It’s too early to see any real impact from the Brexit vote on these statistics. However, we would expect there to be a dip in net migration over the next twelve months if the economy slows down, as we have seen in past downturns. The fall in the pound against the euro may also make relative wages in the UK less attractive to migrants from Eurozone countries.

“We shouldn’t sit back and wait to see what the next quarter’s figures show before taking action. We already know that many organisations are already nervous about how they will manage to retain and access migrant labour moving forward.

“Our employer survey taken after the vote showed that around 20 per cent of employers who employed migrants reported that some of their migrant workforce were considering leaving the UK and about 40 per cent of all employers think it will be harder to recruit EU migrants in the future. Further CIPD research has also shown that some employers would not be able to fill their vacancies without the additional supply of migrant workers and that organisations that employ migrants are slightly more productive than those that don’t. It’s crucial that this isn’t forgotten when setting migration targets and approaching the renegotiations of our relationship with the EU.

“Government should be working closely with businesses to understand and address the challenges that they are facing in terms of productivity, skills and labour supply. Employers also need to be focusing on creating more skilled and more productive workplaces in order to make Brexit work for them. By investing in and boosting performance from people as well as processes, they’ll be able to create more sustainable, higher performing organisations at this challenging time and in the future.”