Mr Johnson has stated publicly that there will be sustained investment in infrastructure, which is a promising note to strike. The consequence should be improved telecoms, rail, air and road links, and our clients are welcoming the fact that the government has pledged to make such an investment – even though it may take time for the benefits to be fully felt.
Employers will always need skilled workers, and they have to be able to import talent if necessary, so the points-based immigration system that has been mooted needs to be effective while not being excessively bureaucratic.
At Eton Bridge Partners, we regularly source and place EU and foreign nationals. We appreciate fully that, if one of our clients wishes to bring in an accountant from inside or outside the EU and has identified a candidate who is an ideal fit for the position in question, they need to be able to navigate their way through the process quickly.
Unemployment in the UK is at its lowest since 1975, and the employment rate is at 76.2%, which represents an all-time high. At the same time, there are an estimated 794,000 vacancies in the UK, a statistic that is linked to the ongoing skills gap.
Therefore, if a points-based immigration system is introduced, it will be critical that business and the government work together to identify skills shortages in a particular area. The government must be highly effective attracting people from overseas to fill those gaps and ensure there is a minimum of regulation for the businesses in question to negotiate. In the long term, the government should focus on apprenticeships in the relevant areas so that people are being trained up to fill those jobs.