UK immigration cap 'affecting business at Airbus'

14 Feb 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The UK immigration cap is having a negative impact on Airbus UK's business, it has been suggested.

A recent report in the Telegraph stated that the firm has repeatedly tried to contact that Home Office and the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to get hold of UK visas for highly-skilled employees.

The aerospace manufacturer is in need of engineers who are capable of working on lighting sensitivity. However, there are only a handful of such people in the world and the company does not have UK visas available to bring them to the country due to the temporary UK immigration cap imposed by the government in the run up to the finalised visa changes, which will kick in in April of this year.

Unfortunately for Airbus, their attempts to find a way around the problem with help from the Home Office and the UKBA have been fruitless. The former failed to return calls, while the latter took seven weeks to respond to letters and then was unable to resolve the matter.

Katherine Bennett, vice-president and head of political affairs for Airbus, told the paper: "I appreciate the issues about immigration but it is really affecting us who need highly-skilled people."

She added that Airbus does employ people from the UK wherever it can but that the company needs the skills of a select group of international specialists to carry out its work.

The news comes after the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills stated last week that it intends to support major UK companies competing in the export market.

Trade and investment minister Lord Green said: "Our exporters are crucial to securing the recovery and we want to do everything we can to help them grow. This new support will help British exporters compete and win business overseas."