UK immigration cap 'flawed'

20 Apr 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The government's UK immigration cap has been criticised by a think-tank on the grounds that it will hinder businesses but will not sufficiently lower migration.

A member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) remarked that there has only been tens of thousands non-European Union workers coming into the country via the points-based UK work permit system in the past couple of years.

Gerwyn Davies, policy adviser at the CIPD, explained: "This is a some pain, little gain policy. Further reductions will bring little gain for the government's policy objective to bring net migration down to the tens of thousands, but some pain for employers struggling to fill skilled vacancies."

He highlighted the fact that this goes against prime minister David Cameron's policy objective of "good immigration, not mass immigration", outlined in his recent speech on UK immigration policy.

Citing official figures, the policy adviser noted that net migration has actually increased by more than a third since the introduction of the temporary cap in 2010.

And yet CIPD data shows that a sixth of employers have been prevented from hiring skilled and highly skilled people from outside of the EU.

"The government's efforts should therefore concentrate on matching those coming off welfare with unskilled jobs, many of which are disproportionately taken by EU workers, while giving employers every opportunity to fill skilled and highly skilled roles that cannot be filled with British worker," Mr Gerwyn suggested.