“These numbers are higher for understandable reasons such as those arriving from Ukraine, Afghanistan and Hong Kong.
“But today’s statistics are a great opportunity to look again at our immigration-to-work strategy in the face of unprecedented labour and skills shortages. We should use our language, flexible labour laws and high-quality training to attract and help work-ready immigrants to fill some of the 1.7 million jobs advertised across the UK.”
Kate Shoesmith added:
“Having the right labour market activation policies – from better childcare to a more flexible and usable apprenticeship levy system - are crucial in helping us overcome labour shortages, and we need to specifically look at how you bring work-finding support together with health. NHS waiting lists are sky high and we know that sickness is a big barrier to work for many right now.
“As the REC has pointed out, the UK could leave £39 billion of prosperity on the shelf – two Elizabeth Lines, every year – unless we can tackle the structural challenges we face on productivity and a shortage on labour supply.”