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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

REC responds to government announcements on migration and work

Press releases

Commenting on the government’s announcement on migration and work, Neil Carberry, REC Chief Executive, said: 

“The government talks about wanting growth and increased productivity. Successful modern economies are international – but these changes will send the wrong signal around the world. They are wholly disproportionate, given that immigration for work in the private sector is such a small part of total immigration.

“From world-leading universities to globally competitive firms, attracting people to the UK for work and study is a benefit to growth and prosperity here. And it helps to solve shortages – as the government must know, given that health and social care are the heaviest users of our expensive work visa system. But while firms have to pay the price, the government chooses to exempt itself from the new threshold. One rule for business, another for the public sector in health and care, will not go down well with those in industry.

“It is time for politicians to be more open about these trade-offs. Given the recent trend in wages, some uprating of the salary threshold would have been sensible – but such a large rise is likely to negatively effect smaller firms and those in regions farther from London. While many roles we have shortages in are driven by labour availability, the UK also has significant skills shortages. This news also underpins again the government’s serial failure to address the skills system despite half a decade of business feedback about the failed Apprenticeship Levy and the underfunding of Further Education.”


Notes to editors:

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