“The Prime Minister’s announcement on low-skilled migration is not a surprise, given the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee, but is nonetheless a big concern. Many sectors, including the food industry, logistics, construction, health and social care rely on ‘low-skilled’ workers. Given the current state of the UK jobs market and the labour shortages that these sectors face, the proposed changes risk damaging UK prosperity.
“We need a post-Brexit immigration system which allows employers to recruit for roles at all skill levels depending on the needs of the economy. Given the close ties between the UK and Europe, we believe the government should secure a deal with the EU which allows employers to recruit flexibly and quickly. Businesses need reassurance that their workforces and supply chains will not be damaged after Brexit.
“Equally worrying is the possible extension of the costly and complex sponsorship system, especially for small businesses. Employers will also be concerned about the lack of movement on the Tier 2 visa cap, which stops them being able to fill higher-skilled roles such as doctors and engineers – this is despite the MAC’s recommendation to remove the cap. Businesses need clarity on these issues so that they can plan for the future and help drive the success of our economy.”