Flexibility in UK work permit system 'welcome'

31 Aug 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has welcomed recent efforts to increase flexibility in the UK work permit schemes for investors, entrepreneurs and individuals of 'exceptional talent'.

In response to the Migration Advisory Committee's call for evidence on the proposed reforms to migrant settlement under Tier 1 and 2 of the Points Based System, the REC's head of public policy Gillian Econopouly stressed that the UK's immigration laws need to facilitate access to the right talent in order to nurture business performance and economic growth.

However, she flagged up one particular flaw in the system: “Whilst most workers who come to the UK will return home, we remain concerned that the UK could become a less-attractive option for high-calibre international workers if there is strictly no route to settlement should they wish to stay.”

If such changes are not made, there is a risk that employers could lose some of their key workers should they be pressured into returning to their home country. “The UK should therefore strive to keep these talented individuals, rather than making businesses pay the price by losing key staff,” noted Ms Econopouly.

The comments come as the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that employment among non-UK national rose significantly over the course of the past year. In fact, workers from overseas took the vast majority of new jobs created within the economy,

The data has prompted suggestions that the British workforce is lacking in the skills and motivation needed to secure themselves new jobs.