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11-01-2018

Into the unknown

We are far from alone, but recruitment companies derive their income from placing people in work and, thus, future plans relating to how migration will be controlled are as critical to our industry, if not more so, as to any other.

Given that migration was widely regarded as a key factor infuencing the referendum, it would seem logical to expect that, a year and a half after the vote, business would have a good idea what future immigration controls might look like.

Not a bit of it. Other than the odd vague reference to an "Australian-style points system", which tends to inspire much nodding yet ignores the fact that immigration in Australia is running at double the rate of the UK, the government and opposition have studiously ignored the subject.

Recruitment industry surveys paint a unanimous picture. With the highest levels of employment for forty years, and EU migration much reduced since the referendum, staff shortages are growing at a remorseless speed. And this is before anything at all has been enacted to reduce the net inflow of migrants. A combination of uncertainty, the fall in the value of the pound and a sense that we no longer welcome those from abroad has been enough to achieve the result that those wanting to leave the EU have long dreamed about.

Certain tools to curb immigration have been available over the past forty years;successive governments have chosen not to use them. Our leaders will soon be able to determine their own rules abour who can and cannot work in this country. Is it too much to ask that they let us in on the secret?
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