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Scrap the cap, REC steps up immigration debate

Scrap the cap, REC steps up immigration debate
The REC has re-emphasised the concerns of professional recruiters over the Governments plans to impose a cap on non-EU migrants. This follows the report published this week by the Parliamentary Home Affairs Committee which claims that the cap would lead to a cut of less than one per cent overall in annual net arrivals.  
The report also flags concerns that the cap could hamper business and damage the UKs standing as a centre of commerce, education and science. This echoes the feedback from specialised recruiters in a number of the high end sectors in the UK jobs market.
Commenting on the issue, Tom Hadley, the RECs Director of Policy and Professional Services, said:
Immigration is a highly sensitive and politicised issue. While we all realise the need for some level of control, we need to find the right balance between reducing net figures and securing Britains fragile economic recovery.
The proposed cap could rupture the umbilical cord to the global talent pool. Sectors such as pharmaceutical and science, healthcare and financial services have expressed particular alarm at the potential resourcing implications. The cap will also have a direct impact on front line services such as social care.
"Up skilling UK workers and providing better guidance on careers in high demand sectors must be a priority. Building bridges into the world of work - especially for young job-seekers - is not just an issue for Government. Employers and recruitment professionals must also play a key role.
However, the shortage of suitably skilled workers in many sectors is a reality and will not be rectified overnight. Immigration policy must be flexible and reflect the evolving needs of the UK labour market.
The REC has been in regular dialogue with specialised recruiters to identify jobs that will be hard to fill. The body has also contributed to the debate by submitting responses to the consultations issued by the UK Border Agency and the Migration Advisory Committee on the immigration cap, as well as attending the Home Offices Business Advisory Panel.
Through its Youth Employment Taskforce report Avoiding a Lost Generation, the REC has outlined practical measures for up skilling UK workers and for enhancing practical guidance on future jobs opportunities.


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