05 October 2016
Firms to face restrictions on recruiting overseas workers
Home Secretary Amber Rudd says businesses will face restrictions on recruiting overseas workers under a new drive to bring down immigration.
In her first major address since being appointed to the post, Ms Rudd revealed the shake-up at the Conservative conference while reaffirming the Government's controversial commitment to reducing net migration to the tens of thousands.
Ms Rudd says the "tick box" exercise allows some firms to get away with not training local people, revealing ministers will consider whether new tests should be imposed to ensure those coming to the UK are "filling gaps in the labour market, not taking jobs British people could do".
The minister's speech sparked warnings from business groups.
Josh Hardie, CBI deputy director-general, said it is "time to be clear about the value of migration to the UK, as well as its challenges", adding: "Businesses will not welcome further restrictions on high-skilled migration from key trading partners around the world."
In an attempt to clarify the party's position during a fringe event at the conference, David Davis says he does not envisage any cap on the numbers of high-skilled migrants coming to work in the UK after it leaves the EU, but low-skilled migration may require a work permit.
The Brexit Secretary says a work permit system, if it operates how it does in other countries, would see businesses told to prove they have tried to fill a vacancy with a Briton before being allowed to employ a foreign worker.
He said: "The game is to run immigration policy so it's in the national interest, in the economic interest and in the social interest."
Mirroring the sentiment of Mr Hardie, Seamus Nevin, of the Institute of Directors, says the evidence is clear that migrants "are a benefit to the economy".
He said: "The Home Office also must not try to make employers do the work of government. Small companies do not have the expertise or know-how to vet immigration applications."