The government committee charged with producing a report on the impact of immigration in the UK has stated that low-skilled labour will continue to be available after Brexit. The Migration Advisory Committee has been charged with producing the report has noted that the UK is likely to move towards a selective migration system after leaving the union, this would be similar to the point systems used in many other English speaking countries such as Australia and Canada.
The committee has insisted that even in the worst case scenario low-skilled labour would still be relatively freely available in the UK. Data cited in the introduction concludes that 49 per cent of EEA migrants were in so-called low skilled jobs.
A report by the CIPD has stated that many companies had needed to hire from outside of the UK due to a lack of willing applicants in the UK. Traditionally the UK has needed migrants to perform the lower skilled and more importantly lower paid work that exists. Anecdotally there appears to be a lack of willingness from British citizens to take on lower paid work and the free flow of workers willing to do the work has meant that these vacancies have been filled. But the worry is now that after Brexit, this labour will no longer be freely available and the economy will slow down. There is also the worry that employers will need to raise wages disproportionately and this would cause upward pressure on prices.
The worrying lack of detail on the future of what immigration looks like is one of the main drivers behind the commissioning of the report. Home Secretary Amber Rudd asked the committee to look into the ramifications of Brexit on immigration and also asked for policy proposals in the area. The committee has also reached out to the business community to provide its input on the matter as the government appears to be finally allowing the business community to have its say on one of the more controversial elements of Brexit, immigration.
The Brexit campaign brought the issue of immigration to the fore. But many claim that there was a significant failure to highlight the positive benefits that it has had on the UK. The country has a high reliance on immigrants to provide many services that would just not be achievable without them. The hope from many is that the report will show clearly that there is a need for continued levels of immigration to keep the current positive economic cycle moving forward. A failure to correctly highlight this need could be catastrophic to the future of the UK’s economic prospect, especially after the potential hit of Brexit. The UK desperately requires certainty in the area and it is hoped that this report will help to ensure it happens.
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