More flexible immigration laws are much needed and could benefit several UK businesses, Vince Cable believes. Businesses and bankers together expresses concerns last night as Vince Cable independently expressed doubts about the UK immigration policy. There are opportunities that businesses could be taking advantage of with the ability to hire immigrants, but caps on visa numbers are limiting them. Some of the biggest banks in the capital city are known to have been granted only a handful of visas.
Businesses who are concerned with the inability to hire many immigrants include, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and GlaxoSmithKline.
Vince Cable, business secretary, made an emphatic notion during the meeting last night, saying he had a “file full of examples” of businesses affected by the overseas workers quotas set by the coalition. He referred to the Financial Times while making his point.
He mentioned a couple of investment banks which had been granted around 40 visas, which still moved businesses to Hong Kong, as well as a UK employer who was awarded 4 visas but needed around 500 engineering specialists.
The deputy director-general of employers body, CBI, John Cridland, discussed how the cap caused challenging situations, saying: “The figures used were artificially low as they were based on numbers at the height of the recession in 2009. As firms are gearing up for growth, some are finding that they are only able to use a handful of non-EU specialist staff.”
Even though Cable has been firm with the banking industry on issues in the past, he found support from several bankers. Lawyers also stood behind Cable, as the Law Society proclaimed that the use of immigrants would make it more possible to stay internationally competitive.
The immigration caps are also limiting to multinational organisations located in the UK, like GlaxoSmithKline. When transferring employees they are obviously immigrants coming into the country, and not just employees changing company locations.
They commented on immigration, saying: ”GSK understands the government’s aim of reducing migration to manageable levels in the UK. However, it is very important that this doesn’t inadvertently prevent global businesses based in the UK, such as GSK, from moving employees with specialist skills – often key talent – between our sites in different countries.
“In addition, occasionally we need to recruit new individuals based outside the EU for roles in the UK. We understand the government is sympathetic to these concerns and we are engaging with them during the consultation process on the detail of the proposals.”