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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Skills and work visa reform plans need careful handling to avoid negative growth impacts - REC 

Press releases

Commenting on Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper’s comments on Labour’s plans to cut net migration by reducing visas for overseas workers, Neil Carberry, REC Chief Executive, said:

“The Shadow Home Secretary’s comments on bringing down work-related immigration need to be set in a wider economic context. Of course, fixing the skills system and better back-to-work support will help, but that is not a quick fix.  We currently have a broader shortage of people - not a few specific shortages. Labour would cause problems for its own growth goal by restricting firms from access to workers where the alternative might be work going elsewhere. There is also a risk of lower competitiveness as firms struggle to meet their needs. There was however some hint of understanding the scale of the issue in the Shadow Home Secretary’s comments about workforce planning.

“Businesses do need to step up on skills, and reform of the levy is essential to that. Working together with business to ensure any link between skills investment and visas acknowledges we needs both at different times. No firm should be left without a skill or visa option to meet its needs.”


Notes to editors:

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