Restricting Tier 2 work permits 'poses significant risks to business'

08 Jul 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

By imposing a cap on UK Tier 2 work permits and restricting the entry of skilled workers to the country, the government is presenting "significant risks to UK businesses".

This warning comes from a cross-party panel of MPs. The all-party parliamentary group on migration is chaired by Labour MP Jack Dromey; Liberal Democrat peer Lord Roberts of Llandudno; Labour MP Jon Cruddas and Conservative MP Stewart Jackson.

According to the group's latest meeting, the actions taken by the government to restrict labour migration from outside of the European Union could prove problematic for British companies, the Financial Times reported. Among its recent changes to UK immigration regulations, was the government's introduction of an annual cap of 20,700 on UK Tier 2 work permits, reducing the number of people able to take up skilled positions with British firms.

Mr Dromey told the paper: "The business community has been subject to a major and rapid change within the system."

"We need to grow the economy and rebalance the economy, so we need to send positive messages internationally that the UK is open for business rather than sending a negative message to employers," he added.

Mr Dromey cited research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and KPMG, which found that more than 20 per cent of private sector employers have reported difficulties in recruitment as a direct result of the temporary Tier 2 work permit cap.

The CIPD has also revealed recently that 52 per cent of employers have experienced an increase in competition for top talent. In 2009, just 20 per cent of companies felt that competition had risen, suggesting that demand is outweighing supply in the UK when it comes to highly-skilled workers.