Property Personnel MD: Saying UK immigration cap doesn't affect recruitment "misses the point"

Migration Watch’s recent report on skilled immigration, which says that a cap on skilled migrants entering the UK would not hamper recruitment, has been criticised by Anthony Hesse, Managing Director of Property Personnel, the UK’s oldest estate agent recruitment consultancy – Estate Agent Today reports.

Migration Watch’s report says that firms on these shores are overemphasising the impact of the current cap on Tier 2 work permits that allow non-EU migrants into the country.  

They also say that the current limit, 20,700, set in 2010, has never been exceeded. Each application also needs a certificate of sponsorship supporting the application.

The only exception, which they contest, is 2015/16, when there were 22,037 certificates issued. However, 2,800 were returned unused or reclaimed, taking the total figure below the cap.

Hesse says: “It’s true to say that the current cap isn’t being breached. But the authors of the Migration Watch study need to ask themselves why. The real reason is that the current restrictions are so high, employers are being prevented from applying in the first place. To use this problem as proof of a cap not hampering companies’ ability to recruit is a criticism which misfires on all cylinders.

“[This] means that employers have to go through a phenomenal amount of bureaucracy. Visa applications are typically 85 pages long, with employers having to answer over 100 questions about each prospective employee. Then Home Office officials have to consult 1,300 pages of instructions before deciding is a visa will be issued.”

We should be making it easier for skilled immigrants to help ease the UK skills shortage, not harder, he continues.

“So,” he concludes, “to claim a cap on numbers does British business no harm is to miss the point entirely.” 

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