Queen’s Speech: immigration system must work for the whole economy

Filed under Press release

Thursday, 19 December 2019

An Australian points-based immigration system, a new Employment Bill and a national skills fund were among the legislative priorities announced in today’s Queen’s Speech.  

Tom Hadley, Director of Policy and Campaigns at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said:

“The election may have given the Government a clear mandate for immigration reform, but it is important that this works for the economy and the public. Record high employment has left firms struggling to find the workers they need, at all skill levels. Our data has consistently shown a shortage of UK workers in sectors ranging from healthcare and engineering to hospitality and agriculture. For homes to be built, for the elderly to be cared for, and for shops to stock the goods we want, we need an immigration system that works for the whole economy. 

“We hope the Government’s Employment Bill will incentivise business compliance and increase fairness and flexibility in work. Good work and flexibility go hand in hand and REC data shows more people are choosing to do flexible work to better suit their lifestyle. Two way flexibility, that supports businesses and workers’ choices, is vital to a fair and productive labour market. The challenge ahead is to ensure that this works for all parties. 

“The Government’s recognition of the importance of all people being able to retrain is welcome. Recruitment professionals are in a unique position to facilitate career transitions and progression, and to provide the latest insight into how skills needs are evolving. We look forward to ensuring that the National Skills Fund works for employers and workers alike.”

Notes to editors:  
1. The REC Report on Jobs in December shows that demand for staff has declined for nine consecutive months.
2. The REC JobsOutlook in November showed employer confidence in the economy hit its lowest point since mid-2016.
3. Flexibility Works: Why people choose flexible work was published in November 2019.
4. REC’s recommendations to the new government can be found in full in our manifesto ‘Making Great Work Happen’ here.

For more information, contact the REC Press Office on 020 7009 2157, 020 7009 2192 or pressoffice@rec.uk.com. 

The REC is the voice of the recruitment industry, speaking up for great recruiters. We drive standards and empower recruitment businesses to build better futures for their candidates and themselves. We are champions of an industry which is fundamental to the strength of the UK economy. 

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