Short-term changes to immigration policy

Oct 22, 2021

On 20th October 2021 our Immigration Manager, Karendeep Kaur spoke to People Management about short-term changes needed to immigration policy to address labour shortages.

Read the full article here.

According to the CIPD immediate skills shortages could “undermine the government’s plans to create a high-wage, high-skill economy”. Therefore, they believe short-term changes are needed to the immigration policy to address these.

CIPD have recommended the government to create a temporary job mobility scheme for young EU nationals, to address labour shortages in some sectors.

Labour shortages existed before the pandemic. Therefore, it is unlikely to get resolved by simply returning to  pre-pandemic norms.

It has also been suggested that the apprenticeship levy is turned into a more flexible training levy.  A £60m-a-year investment could also improve business support for SMEs regarding people management and skills development.

Data shows that some sectors, in particular hospitality, health and social care and manufacturing are struggling to fill vacancies and need “urgent intervention”.

In the transport sector the median number of applicants for low-skilled vacancies has decreased from 50 in 2018 and 2019 to 15 in 2021.

It has been noted that some shortages in key sectors are due to low salaries and working conditions not meeting the expectations of UK workers.

According to Karendeep “the CIPD’s recommendations were a necessary short-term fix, but that long-term reform was needed if the UK was to see a change in dynamic”.

Short-term changes to immigration policy

Karendeep Kaur – Manager

She also added that “Brexit resulted in a huge portion of the EU population leaving the UK, which meant industries such as hospitality and transport suffering immensely,”.  “With the added pressure of the pandemic, the talent pool has shortened significantly and the knock-on effect has been felt by many other industries.”

Individuals potentially looking to migrate to the UK also have the opportunity to relocate elsewhere. Therefore, an attractive salary package as well as the working conditions from a UK organisation will be a deciding factor.

Another important factor is the possibility to settle in the UK. Currently the youth mobility scheme only allows an individual to stay in the UK for a maximum of 2 years. Anyone wanting to settle in the UK would need to apply for the skilled worker route.

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