Following the release of the latest ONS migration figures, Kate Shoesmith, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), said:
“It’s vital that employers have access to the skills they need to grow and adapt to the new normal. Although it is likely that more people will be looking for new jobs, many will not immediately have the skills to fill these roles. So it’s worrying that the number of people were coming to work in the UK was low, even before the pandemic. Firms need to know that the new immigration system will be flexible enough to be help fix the skills shortages affecting the construction, IT and social care sectors in the short term – or we risk stalling the economic recovery.
“Alongside a functioning immigration system we need the investment to retrain and upskill the increasing numbers of recently unemployed. For example, a flexible Apprenticeship Levy would help people get the qualifications to become the LGV drivers and social care workers that our data tells us are in demand.”