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Monday, June 19, 2017

Theresa May's Immigration cap could depress economy further says report

Can Theresa May's Conservative/DUP Government be any more incompetent? Well, according to a report from independent consultancy RepGraph, featured in the Independent, the Prime Minister's pursuit of her unrealistic immigration targets could well cause major problems for the economy unless they are abandoned.

Their detailed study of EU nationals has found that the Prime Minister's post-Brexit plan to slash immigration will have a devastating “double whammy” impact. They say that May's stubborn refusal to dump her “tens of thousands” cap on net migration would not only cut off a vital supply of labour, but deepen existing shortages in key sectors.

They want the Government to base future immigration policy on “economic need” instead of an arbitrary numerical target like that maintained by May:

RepGraph concluded that a “blanket approach to reducing migration” focusing on low-skilled workers could have “a doubly negative impact” by both withdrawing a critical labour supply and compounding existing skills shortages.

Laying waste to arguments for a system that only allows highly qualified individuals in, the report instead underlines the desperate need the UK economy has for low-skilled employees.

“Low-skilled migrants are filling gaps in the workforce where the need is greatest,” the report concludes. It sets out that industries employing the largest number and proportion of low-skilled EU workers are those already suffering the most acute labour shortages, while there are far fewer EU citizens taking high-skilled jobs in sectors that tend to have low labour shortages.

In particular, the study concluded that the Government’s target to cut annual net migration to under 100,000 would disproportionately hit sectors with existing shortages – including accommodation and food, administration and support, wholesale, retail and vehicle repair, manufacturing and construction. 

RepGraph, which analysed Office for National Statistics data, found that the 2.1 million EU citizens make up a small proportion of the UK workforce, some 7 per cent, but only a fifth are in highly skilled jobs – with most employed in London and the South-east, and fewest in the North-east and Wales.

Of the 10 sectors with the most acute shortages, seven have above average EU migrant employment – at around 16 per cent on average, compared with 7 per cent in the economy as a whole.

The report finds tha EU workers are almost four times as likely to be found in a low-skilled job in industry with acute shortages than in a high-skilled post without such problems:

In wholesale, retail and vehicle repair, the proportion of EU workers in the lowest skilled posts is five times higher than in the high-skilled positions. In transport and storage, it is more than eight times higher and in manufacturing almost seven times greater.

Education, health and social work, science and communications have the most EU nationals employed at the highest skill levels.

The study concluded: “Any decrease in EU immigrants is therefore more likely to affect the ability to employ people in jobs requiring the lowest level of skill and less likely to affect the jobs requiring the highest level of skill, and could exacerbate skills shortages where they are already most acutely felt.”

If Theresa May persists with her ideological and illogical targets she could well undermine our economy.
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