Migration Watch report “misfires on all cylinders”, says Property Personnel

The Managing Director of the UK’s oldest estate agent recruitment consultancy has slammed a recent report which claims a cap on skilled migrants does not hamper the ability of British businesses to recruit.

The report by Migration Watch, which campaigns for lower immigration, accuses British businesses of crying wolf over the impact of a cap on Tier 2 work permits, saying that the existing annual limit on workers from outside the EU has never been reached.

Rules introduced by Theresa May when she was home secretary in 2010 limited the entry of skilled migrants from outside the EU to 20,700, all of which required a certificate of sponsorship supporting a visa application. The Migration Watch report says that the number of available certificates has never exceeded this figure – apart from in 2015/16 when 22,037 certificates were issued, but almost 2,800 were returned unused or reclaimed, so again the cap was not reached.

Property Personnel Managing Director Anthony Hesse said: “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.”

The report goes onto say that since the cap was introduced the monthly limit has been breached just three times out of a total of 69 months. The study says this means some employers have had to wait a month to sponsor a worker, but the overall impact has been “extremely limited”.

Anthony Hesse added: “The present system 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.

“The truth is that we should be easing the path for skilled migrants to help plug the UK skills gap, rather than making their life more difficult. So to claim a cap on numbers does British business no harm is to miss the point entirely.”

Breaking News shared by: Property Publicity – Eric Dixon eric@propertypublicity.co.uk

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