Speaking at the launch of a new joint report with Reform, the independent think tank, Mr Cox said that there are “more than 8 million non-working adults in this country and yet many of the employers we speak to daily are suffering severe shortages of staff with the appropriate skills\”. He went on to say that Hays see “Clients who are nervous about recruiting staff because they just don\’t know what the future holds from a tax or a legal perspective”.
The joint Hays and Reform report urges the next government to:
- Freeze and then reduce National Insurance Contributions (NIC)
- Declare a suspension on further employment legislation
- Limit the impact of the Agency Workers Directive
- Address significant skill shortages in Healthcare, Social Care, Engineering, Technology, Oil and Gas and Construction
On the issue of Immigration Reform the report said that vital jobs are becoming more difficult to fill because UK Immigration controls have been tightened and certain key roles have been removed from the Migration Advisory Committee’s exemption list.
Over the past couple of years the Points Based Immigration System (PBS) has been introduced in a bid to strengthen immigration controls in the UK and clear up the over 90 different immigration channels. Tier 1 (Highly Skilled) and Tier 2 (Skilled) of the PBS deal with professional workers who add value to the UK economy and help UK companies fill roles in which it is difficult to find resident workers.
The introduction of the Points Based System has meant greater responsibility and accountability for UK businesses who wish to employ workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). These changes were essential in order to address non compliance and illegal employment.
In April 2009 the criteria for gaining a Tier 1 visa was increased meaning that thousands of potential applicants were unable to apply. The increase in the Tier 1 requirement was made in the wake of the global recession and the aim of the change was to reduce the number of opportunities offered to non EEA nationals over British Nationals. These changes have now largely been reversed.
It is unlikely that either party (Labour or Conservatives) will be more liberal with immigration control in the future, in fact quite the opposite. The Conservatives have said that they wish to introduce immigration quotas, however although this may appeal to voters the chances of such plans becoming real are remote due to the essential role that skilled and highly skilled professionals play in the UK economy.
Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing Tier 1 Visa Applications / Extensions and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a Medical, Information Technology or Engineering Professional on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).
To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.