According to ‘Worlds Apart: Making the immigration system work for London businesses’, a recently published report by London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the current visa system does not work for London business and threatens to put a brake on the economic recovery.
For the last three successive quarters, more than half of London's businesses looking to recruit struggled to find the skilled staff they needed, and firms are turning to overseas workers.
However, claims that the London labour market is flooded with migrant workers are simply untrue. New research conducted for LCCI found that only 33% of the capital's firms employ non-UK workers, with only 16% employing workers from outside the EEA. While there are relatively few non-UK staff employed in the capital, their contribution to London's economic success cannot be overstated.
Pat Saini, head of the Penningtons Manches immigration team, who contributed to the LCCI report, said: “Skills shortages have increased as an issue for firms as the economy has improved. This year we have processed more visas and sponsor licences than the year before. The number of companies hiring apprentices has increased but, for the technology sector in particular, it will take years for these learners to plug the skills gap.”
Penningtons Manches supports the LCCI’s recommendations to the Government to change the system which include to:
Click here to view the ‘Worlds apart – Making the immigration system work for London businesses’ survey report.