Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

REC responds to new statistics on UK net migration

Responding to this morning’s statistics showing net migration to the UK in 2022, Kate Shoesmith, REC Deputy Chief Executive, said:

“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.”