16 January 2009

CIPD warns UK gov't to limit migration numbers during recession

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Chief economist of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development John Philpott has warned British MPs to reduce the numbers of immigrants moving to Britain during the economic recession, reports Personnel Today.

This week, Philpott advised MPs sitting on the Work and Pensions Committee to further restrict the new points-based migration programme so that non-EU workers do not unnecessarily flood the struggling labour market.

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Phil Woolas maintains that the new system for immigration allows only those migrants needed to move to the UK and no more, so that the jobs of local workers can be protected.

"When we have a slack labour market, we should not need as many migrant workers.  It might be that the new points-based system needs to be tightened up to reflect current labour market needs," Mr Philpott told reporters.

"You should have a policy that makes migration work for you, making it easier for people to come in when you need them, and possibly restricting entry when you don't," he added.

This week, the Government published a new bill, the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill, which has changed the pathway to citizenship so that settled migrants must prove their English language ability and obedience to British law before becoming citizens of the UK.  Those that prove service to the British community can now also be fast-tracked to UK citizenship.

The bill also rules that those who are not full citizens or permanent residents of Britain will not have access to full services and benefits and social housing, so that more people would be encouraged to earn their citizenship.  Further, Parliament now requires those non-citizens who commit serious criminal offences to be subject to deportation.

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said the new bill sends a clear message to migrants that the Government requires them to earn the right to stay in the UK.

"Migration only works if it brings benefits and these measures will ensure that only those migrants that make a positive impact on their local community will be able to stay in the UK," he said in a statement.


The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, UK Visa Bureau.


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