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22 May 2018

The UK’s Future Immigration System and Access to Talent

Yesterday saw the publication of a new report by Ernst & Young reflecting on the need for migrant labour in the UK. More than the data used to illustrate the very striking and clear recommendations, the report paints a clear message that that it is time for us to collectively vision a new immigration system which is is humane, fit for purpose and responsive to our collective needs. This report provides a framework for exactly such a discussion and can equally apply to various types of migration.

Focused on the financial and related skills sector, the report finds that 1 in 4 employees in banking in London are non UK citizens. 16.9% are from the EU and 11.4% from the rest of the world. Around 37% of the overall workforce is located in London and the South east.

The report is clear that whilst the UK will continue to be an international hub for the financial sector, this should not be taken for granted and there could be problems recruiting international talent. Recognising the complexity of immigration law, the report calls for a streamlining of the immigration process
and an immigration system that allows for an investment in people’s future and potential, as opposed to their existing skills set and salary bracket.

The report goes on to make nine very focused and clear recommendations, including extending the validity of ILR, avoiding a regional bias, reviewing the shortage occupations list and developing a new perspective on skills.

The report is based on surveys with business and individual interviews with employers. It is sound in its methodology and clear in its asks. The very principles and fundamental approaches adopted in the report form a good basis from which to build a progressive, engaged and proactive immigration system for all – definitely worth reading for anyone interested in visioning a new immigration future for the UK.

You can access the report here