UK work permit cap challenged

15 Dec 2010 | Posted by Carl Thomas
The cap on UK work permits is being challenged in court by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) this week (Wednesday, December 15th).

Expected to last until Friday, the JCWI is bringing the case against the home secretary Theresa May, in a bid to submit the UK immigration cap to parliamentary scrutiny.

According to JCWI, the manner in which the government permitted the cap on UK work permits to be decided without accountability by Ms May and immigration minister Damian Green was "undemocratic".

Habib Rahman, chief executive of the immigration group, commented: "The number admitted under this new regime is an integral part of the rules and needs to be subjected to scrutiny by our elected representatives just like every other law in this country."

Mr Rahman added: "The cap is an attempt to blame some of the financial difficulties experienced here on migrants. This needs to stop.

"Migrants fill the skills gap, provide services for all and positively contribute to the British economy."

His views are backed by a number of business organisations in the UK.

Indeed, recent research conducted by accountancy firm PwC found that UK firms are concerned about a lack of skills mobility. Over half (53 per cent) of companies questioned claimed that skills shortages are the biggest factor against them increasing their headcount.

Commenting on the findings, Michael Rendell, head of human resources services at PwC, said the UK immigration cap is presenting a particular challenge to businesses and certain aspects of it "do not make economic sense".

Last month, the home secretary confirmed that Tier 1 and Tier 2 work permits will be limited to 21,700 as part of a number of reforms to UK immigration.

The decision will significantly reduce the number of skilled workers entering the UK jobs market from overseas.