It will not impede firms “from attracting the best talent from around the world”
Prime Minister David Cameron has given a hint that the planned immigration cap may be relaxed so as not to prevent British firms from bringing in high-skilled workers from abroad.
Addressing the annual conference of the CBI, the UK’s leading business group, Mr. Cameron said: “Let me give you this assurance, as we control our borders and bring immigration to a manageable level, we will not impede you from attracting the best talent from around the world.”
The Government has been committed to introducing an annual cap on non-European immigration. “We are fully committed to reduce the level of net migration back down to the levels of the 1990s - tens of thousands each year, not hundreds of thousands. Introducing a limit on migrants from outside Europe coming here to work is just one of the ways we intend to achieve this,” Immigration Minister Damian Green said in the past.
The policy has been strongly criticised by firms and leading British universities, saying that it will stop them hiring the staff they need to compete internationally.
On 1st October, in its submission to the Government’s consultation on limits on non-EU economic migration, the CBI asked the Government to ensure that the migration system is designed in a way that supports the economic recovery. It must ensure that companies can operate in an international environment and call on specialist skills from abroad when necessary, CBI said.
Reacting to Mr. Cameron’s speech, Mr. Richard Lambert, the CBI Director-General, said: “The Prime Minister demonstrated a real passion for business and an understanding that only business will create growth. There was a welcome emphasis on the need to re-boot the country’s infrastructure, with a coherent vision of what needs to be done over the next five years to secure economic growth.
“It was encouraging that he encompassed all parts of the economy, from broadband to ports and from transport to energy. He also made clear that access to finance and immigration would not be barriers to future growth.”
By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a