Commenting on the Government’s immigration policy, implemented last week, Gillian Econopouly, Head of Policy at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said:

“At a time when small businesses are focused on economic growth, the now-permanent immigration cap remains a cause for real concern. The difficulty in securing certificates of sponsorship to bring in specialist skills risks putting the brakes on business development for many small firms.

“The new rules will significantly impact businesses’ ability to access top international talent, so it’s important that the Government takes a flexible approach that is responsive to changing market conditions. Measures like the ‘switching’ provision, which will help talented graduates progress to the UK workforce, are encouraging, but further flexibility is needed to enable companies to emerge from the recession with a ‘fit for purpose’ talent base.

“Unless the new immigration regime reflects the realities of the current labour market, and steps are taken to limit the potential for UK businesses to miss out on top talent, it may ultimately prove unworkable for the UK economy.”