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Commenting on the Migration Advisory Committee’s report, Jane Gratton, Head of People Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“Expanding the Shortage Occupation List will help businesses access the skills they need when they can’t recruit locally. Listing occupations, rather that job titles, simplifies the system and gives welcome flexibility to those hiring for new or emerging roles.
“But the ending of free movement will present significant costs and challenges for employers. Businesses continue to raise concerns about proposals for rigid salary thresholds, time restrictions for lower skilled workers, and the extension of the Immigration Skills Charge – all of which will ramp up costs and worsen recruitment difficulties.
“Our research shows that three-quarters of firms are currently unable to find the talent they need, and vacancies are being left unfilled. Employers know they must invest more in the skills of the future, but people development does not happen overnight, particularly as the UK’s training system is not yet fully fit for purpose. Until then, businesses need an efficient, light-touch and cost-effective system that provides ongoing access to skills from around the world.”