The government are heading for a “car crash” on immigration for work


October 12, 2020

A 45,000 cap on immigration for the main work permit route is vital in the face of rapidly growing unemployment. 

A Migration Watch UK paper finds that a cap on work permits set at 45,000 per year is essential to ensure UK workers are given a fair chance to fill any new vacancies.

Redundancies and youth unemployment are on an upward trajectory towards the highest level in years. 

In these tough times, employers must contribute to the local communities that sustain them by taking on UK workers and investing in UK talent, via better training, wages and working conditions, whenever possible.

Recent polling clearly shows that:

  • 71% of the public want a cap on work permits to be retained - as in Australia - despite government plans to abolish it (Deltapoll, late 2019, see summary)
  • Nearly 80% of the public think that government should ensure British workers are brought into work before employers seek more overseas labour (Deltapoll, May 2020; see summary). In contrast, the government plans to scrap the rule that requires employers to advertise job openings here before they can hire abroad.

This immigration plan is deeply irresponsible and threatens the prospects of British workers.

Without a cap in place - at least until the economic situation is clearer - the numbers could increase very rapidly indeed and be very difficult to bring back under control, amounting to a car crash for immigration policy.

Commenting, Alp Mehmet, Chairman of Migration Watch UK said:

No cap on work permits and no requirement for advertising of jobs in the UK is a gamble that poses a huge threat to the prospects of British workers, at the worst possible time. They have every right to feel betrayed.  
This is a 'car crash' in the making for the government that will be received badly, especially in the “Red Wall areas. They need urgently to adjust policies drawn up before the Covid crisis struck.


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