From education to employment

Tories Stand Apart Against Tide of Economic Migration

A survey released by Skills for Business has revealed that a significant proportion of Tory MPs disapprove of economic migration as a method of filling skills gaps in the UK workforce.

Considering Conservative party views on immigration are generally unfavourable, the outcomes of the survey are hardly surprising; with fewer than two in ten Conservative MPs in favour of the policy.

The Tories” negative stance marks a stark contrast with its two rival political parties, the majority of whose MPs uphold economic migration as a valid method of tackling and reducing the UK’s skills shortages. For example, research carried out by the report – conducted by MORI – uncovered that nine out of ten Labour MPs are strongly in favour of economic migration, perceiving it as an efficient means of supplementing the UK’s skills force.

Cake and Eating..?

Whilst Conservatives are quick to refute the efficacy of economic migration, the survey reveals that 85% of Tory MPs still, however, agree that a shortage of skills in the current workplace is having a negative impact on UK employers” abilities to provide better services and produce more complex products. Furthermore, three out of four Conservative MPs believe that the gap between the level of skills required and that which is available at present is steadily growing.

The results, which appeared in the wake of the Conservative party conference, emphasise alarming statistics indicating that 60% of employers admit they currently face difficulty recruiting employees with the required level of skills and experience. Director of research at Skills for Business, Professor Mike Campbell, is one of the country’s leading labour market experts. He described the Tory position against economic migration as a “startling revelation.”

Professor Campbell outlined the benefits of “embracing overseas talent” recognising the success of similar policies in countries such as Australia, and urged Britain to accept the “international nature of the modern work force” which he sees as vital in order for the UK to compete on a global level.

He went on to distinguish a lack of skills as “the root of Britain’s falling productivity levels” remarking that it is a problem that must be addressed quickly and efficiently in order to avoid “the very real risk of serious economic implications for the future prosperity of the UK.”

Sara Hashash

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