Immigration minister tells business train locals as he says no to talent imports

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick has told UK business that should be training locals and not looking to foreign talent to plug skills gaps.

Speaking at the CBI on Monday, November 21, Jenrick said that there over five million unemployed people in the UK and that businesses should be looking to provide them with the skills rather than importing people who already have them.

Tony Danker, the CBI Director General, had called on government to allow for businesses to attract the talent they need to grow their businesses making reference to the more than one million vacancies currently advertised.

Referring to the OBR report on Thursday he said, some leeway was needed in the short-term and that was needed was an occupation shortage list. He said that was needed why the current labour market was re-calibrated.

But Jenrick said the government did not agree with that assessment nor with the need to attract skills from abroad. He continued saying that they were still committed to reducing net migration and that business needed to do more to build the local skills base.

One of the main complaints following the autumn statement by the chancellor last week, was that it was devoid of detail about where growth was going to come from. It’s now clear that the current government does not see that coming from either a Swiss-style trade agreement with the EU or through the attraction of the skills that allow the country to compete on world markets.

In principal business agreed with the immigration minister that locals need to be trained; however many will say that either a lack of more fundamental skills and motivation amongst the unemployed make the task easier said than done.  

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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