Net migration has reached a 10-year high of 318,000 this year, some 200,000 more than pledged by David Cameron in 2010. Despite many arguments suggesting the positive impact, both financially and socially of migration towards the UK, during Prime Minister’s Questions this week Mr Cameron announced a number of new plans to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands. These proposals included measures to raise minimum salary thresholds, limit the number of work permits and the introduction of new business levies for businesses employing migrant workers.
The government’s Migration Advisory Committee will take these proposals into consideration, which also not only aim to protect domestic workers from being undercut by migrant workers, but are also designed to boost apprenticeships. Mr Cameron, who chairs the Immigration Taskforce, has also elicited plans to rethink how long certain sectors can declare they have a skills shortage, as this enables employers in the particular sector to take on migrant workers.
Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors and quoted in the Independent, has raised concerns over Mr Cameron’s proposals. Despite needing to attend to the public’s concern on immigration, Mr Walker states that employing migrant workers is purely a consequence of needing to find “people with the skills needed by employers”.
Mr Walker goes on to say that Mr Cameron is “absolutely right to focus on upskilling the domestic workforce, but there’s no quick fix.” It must nonetheless be taken into consideration that withdrawing skilled migrants from the workforce may have detrimental effects on the ever improving economy in the UK.