Immigration latest highlights missed opportunity for visa reform

By Patrick Barnham

The latest figures on immigration demonstrate a ‘missed opportunity’ for visa reform, that’s according to the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), the trade association for the professional recruitment sector. 

Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at APSCo said: “While there are clearly concerns around immigration levels, we can’t overlook the fact that the UK does still desperately need skills to support economic growth, and these skills will have to come from international experts. Unfortunately, there’s been a missed opportunity for the Government to introduce short-term business visas for high-level and highly skilled contractors that would alleviate some of the resourcing challenges facing the UK, without impacting immigration on a longer-term basis. Were these visas available, the issue around family members following workers into the country would also have been eased.

“Other countries such as Denmark and Germany are already adapting to this requirement, and the UK needs to play catch up in this respect. Aside from the positive impact that this will have on immigration numbers, it will also strengthen the attractiveness of the county for highly skilled contractors. Access to short-term visas appeals to those working in the flexible labour market and as other countries introduce more adaptable working routes, the UK will only continue to lose its competitive advantage for key skills, including those critically needed to support the race to net zero.”

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