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Should the interim cap on immigration be removed?

11:21 UK time, Friday, 17 September 2010

The UK's interim cap on immigration from outside the EU is damaging to British business, Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable has said. Do you agree?

In an interview with the Financial Times he said that under the current measure, some businesses could not bring in the skilled professional staff they needed to expand and some companies were considering moving jobs abroad because they could not recruit the staff they needed. He told the paper he backs plans for a permanent cap from next April but wants it to be more flexible.

The Shadow Business Secretary, Pat McFadden agreed and said Mr Cable was "right to be resisting the proposal for an annual cap within government". However, the Home Office have said the temporary cap, introduced in July, still allowed the brightest and the best to enter the UK.

Has your business been affected by the cap? Have you been unable to expand? Or have you considered moving jobs abroad? Can the implementation of the immigration cap be improved? Or should the cap be removed?

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    Absolutely not, It should be tightened!

  • Comment number 2.

    What's ultimately damaging to the UK is overpopulation. It's already starting to fray at the seams in places, and even if infrastructure can be improved to cope it cannot be without taking further steps towards turning the country into a bland, busy, unnatractive dump; not a place I would want to live in no matter how much immediate material wealth I had. Quite simply immigration is currently the main source of population increase so wanting to stop limiting it is just plain short-sightedness. Furthermore, even if you don't agree that Britain (well, England anyway) is overcrowded it's plain simple common sense that if the population keeps increasing it will become so sooner or later.

    Vince Cable (who previously seemed to have his head screwed on) appears to want to keep going with a system that relies on ever-increasing numbers, which is incredibly stupid because it will inevitably come to an end sooner or later. Best to make it sooner to avoid the suffering that'll ensue when it's enforced by becoming unsupportable (as well as avoiding the damage on the way).

  • Comment number 3.

    Now let me think about that one.......NO

  • Comment number 4.

    Maybe Vince Cable should get a law passed forcing these firms to train some of the 2.5million unemployed to do the jobs. This is just wingeing by cheapskate employers. There is a training crisis in the UK brought about by private firms, and foreign workers won't solve it in the short or the long term.

  • Comment number 5.

    Immigration should be capped, limited, and stopped to a certain extent.

    Too many people in this country. Not enough jobs. Millions of our own people unemployed. Immigrants continue to flock here to either take our jobs or sponge and exploit the benefits system.

    Come on government, get a clue. THIS is where the real problem of the country lies. HELP YOUR OWN PEOPLE. Help the unemployed British get jobs, only then can you let immigrants in if there's more jobs than unemployed.

    Or, allow immigration if it means more job opportunities for us British people (i.e. a tycoon coming over to set up businesses over here). But knowing this country, it has the knack of doing the opposite - e.g. giving Cadburys over to the arrogant Americans, let it be taken over by Kraft (ugly name) and the Americans steal our British workforces' jobs as a result. Disgusting.

    ITS TIME THE GOVERNMENT STOPS DANCING AND DODGING THIS MAJOR ISSUE AND TO CONFRONT IT HEAD ON. IMMIGRATION IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEM THIS COUNTRY FACES.

  • Comment number 6.

    It should be relaxed.
    For every illegal deported, a free space should be made for someone who is legal and brings some skill or knowledge that is in scare supply and benefits the UK economy.

  • Comment number 7.

    No the cap should not be removed. If businesses can't get the skills they need here in the UK, they should be investing in apprentices and trainees and developing the skills they need, not going abroad and getting skills 'on the cheap' and undermining the UK workforce.

  • Comment number 8.

    This country can do without people like Vince Cable, who it would appear is stabbing British workers in the back by trying to export out British Jobs to foreigners. Businesses want to recruit overseas workers because they do not want to pay UK rates and want to import cheap foreign Labour.

    The Labour government has brought in millions of immigrants over the past 13 years. Why can't businesses employ these immigrants - they have millions to choose from. In effect business is saying that all these millions of immigrants are incapable of doing the work required by businesses, if that's the case why have they been brought into the country.

  • Comment number 9.

    What a load of twoddle, we've not a lot of industry left to require the skills that are required to bring people in from abroad. What a disappointment Vince Cable is turning out to be. The country is awash with people from the EU who don't work, we have many people of British origin who have been made redundant that would like to be retrained. So, Vincy baby, get your butt in to gear and start making some sensible suggestions like retraining programmes, the good old fashioned apprentice schemes. We don't need more people in this country, we need to offload a few million, listen to what the people are saying unelected Vincy, you're courting revolution.

  • Comment number 10.

    This is a positive measure that will help the country. It was only a matter of time before the Lib Dems bleated on for political reasons. Don't forget how they imported councillors from abroad who could not even speak English Funny Vince, but we've done perfectly well without immigrants before. Maybe this will force us to train people for the jobs that need doing in this country and not endlessly inflate the population of an already hideously overcrowed island.

  • Comment number 11.

    We have been here so many times.

    I cannot understand why the previous and current government refused to acknowledge immigration's problem arise from the EU! There are already many legislation in place for non-EU immigration. Those non-EU immigrants who are my friends are either - doctors, bankers, diplomats, teachers etc. They are highly skilled! Whereas the influx of the EU migrants - there are no control! It is the EU immigration we need to control!

  • Comment number 12.

    Businesses are not worried about the cap because they can't get skilled workers.It is possible to get skilled workers when it can be proved there is a need and shortage. They are far more interested in cheap labour, a constant flow of immigrants keeps wages down and this is what most businesses are interested in. This is why Cameron is so keen on Turkey joining the EU, his party members and donors are pushing him. The French and Germans are not nearly as enthusiastic as he is. Turkey is not going to provide a vast supply of skill.

  • Comment number 13.

    The only people being affected by this are law-abiding would-be immigrants and people who have got jobs waiting for them to do. These are the people we want here, who will become assets to our community.

    Those 'chancers' who don't care about legality, who hope to sponge or to work outside the system and pay no tax, pay no attention to the rules and just wander in as they please. These are the people we don't want here, who won't contribute to our community.

    Every time hurdles are erected, visas made harder to get or the process gets even more expensive and complex, the people who are deterred from coming here are the very people we want as immigrants... while the undesirables, who give 'immigrants' a bad name, continue unchecked.

  • Comment number 14.

    Vince Cable needs to listen to the British public about the caps rather than making these statements. I for one voted for the Conservative goverment in part due to their stance on immigration, I did not vote for the Lib/Dems because I felt they were to wishy washy on immigration issues and had no real understanding of how the British public really felt out this. Businesses need to attract the shed loads of British people who are leaving the UK for pastures new because of better opportunities. So it's not that we don't have the talent it's that we just don't know how to keep it.

  • Comment number 15.

    The problem with our system is that government is so hung up on equality and discrimination particularly race discrimination that it cannot come up with a policy which is good for the British people. For goodness sake, we have something to protect in the UK, our natioal identity and our standard of living. By striving for equality and non-discrimination the last British government seriously damaged our national identity and undermined indigenous low skilled workers.

    Why can't we have a system which allows skilled people to moved from country to country but effectively stop all of the low skilled economic migrants who want to move from the third world to the west for a better life? Yes, they do tend to be black, get over it. It's not the colour its the culture and inability to integrate which is important.

    Even the Pope's advisor knows it, unfortunately it was all hushed up because it is not politically correct to say that the British have sold their birthright to the united nations of the third world.

    This government looks like it is going to fall into the same politically corret quagmire that the last government actively developed to create a labour voting multicultural majority.

    And one final matter, forget quotas, when are we going to get a government that actively tracks down and deports illegal immigrants?

  • Comment number 16.

    It should definately NOT be removed.

    This should give the opportunity for businesses to recruit staff from the indigenous citizens of this country.

    Businesses should invest in training and recruiting locally. Instead they have opted out by poaching staff "on the cheap" from overseas countries thus leaving those countries in a vulnerable situation.

    Secondly we cannot absorb any more immigrants into this already overcrowded island.

    There is plenty of talented folk here without looking elsewhere.

  • Comment number 17.

    If it's all about getting in skilled workers that are not present in this country, why can't we adopt a similar system to the USA ? You can have an entry visa if you have proof that a job is here waiting for you and, further to the US system, when that job ends, so does your visa.

    You do not get to then stay if you subsequently have kids here or marry a UK citizen, your visa depends on your job. This can be explained to every visa applicant before the visa is granted and no excuses allowed for breaching it's conditions - you knew what you were taking on when you elected to apply for the visa and so must abide by that.

    Companies who wish to recruit from abroad are required to prove to the immigration authorities that the job into which they are recruiting genuinely cannot be filled from UK citizenry either directly or by training personnel to fill that role (in the US, there is a statuatory period for which the job must be locally advertised and remain unfilled before it can be eligible for a visa except for a few jobs in which they have a nationally recognised shortage).

  • Comment number 18.

    There is a question that springs to mind... Is Vince Cable Insane, badly informed, terribly advised or in the pay of company bosses?

    Currently somewhere close to 30% of the working age population of this country are not employed. These include huge numbers of manual workers, A level students, graduates, experienced ex-private sector (non-bank obviously) workers, will soon be added to by masses of (experienced) public sector workers and given RBS putting 2500 jobs to India,China and USA (at our expense) I assume also now masses of experienced bank staff how can ANYONE think there is even the slightest possibility of a skills problem requiring us bringing yet more people in?????

    The ONLY reason to bring more in is (a) to bring family members in for existing citizens - a kind of descrimination, (b) flood the (already flooded) market so that instead of 1,000's per job you will have 10,000's per job to push wages even lower (despite the fact that we will be adding to demand for houses, clothing, food and social security so putting up costs even further).

    The man is mad, Cameron should gag him, maybe sack him before he does any more damage. Perhaps he needs to go to school? I thought when I first heard him speak he was sensible and reasonable - maybe senility has set in????

    Cable please learn to do what my dad always advised me PUT BRAIN IN GEAR BEFORE YOU SET MOUTH IN MOTION.


  • Comment number 19.

    No I do not agree,Vince Cable is talking rubbish.The immigrants who come to the UK are from countries where labour is very cheap,hence they all want to come here.This means that even the minimum wage is a fortune to them which leads to money leaking out of the country to relatives back home.They take jobs from UK born citizens by devaluing the worth of the UK job hunter even though to live in this country for many UK citizens is very expensive making it virtually impossible for the UK job hunter to accept work.Immigrants will only stay until they have amassed enough money whilst roughing it here and then they are off to live very well back home.The UK citizen doesnt have the same opportunity to work in the immigrants country or welcomed by the inhabitants for the very same reasons.To allow more immigrants in will alienate the lowest paid in this country turning them into third class citizens-no doubt right up the governments alley to allow the ending of all welfare payments and extending the gulf between rich and poor.This country leaks money instead of attracting it and every pound that goes abroad prevents another job for a UK citizen.No immigration is the only way until we can guarantee our own workforce enough jobs on "liveable" income.

  • Comment number 20.

    The problem with immigration is the unskilled workers from Europe entering the country. Highly skilled employees from India are going to be affected by this cap. The majority of these employees don't use the NHS or Police or Fire service whilst they are over here, they pay a lot of tax/NI as they are usually high salaried and then return to there native country. They contribute a lot more to society than average Joe does, this type of immigration is not a problem.

    Although I do not condone in anyway immigrants moving to England whilst unskilled and not contributing to society. They are just parasites and need to be removed.

  • Comment number 21.

    "The UK's interim cap on immigration from outside the EU is damaging to British business, Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable has said. Do you agree?" - (HYS):

    Definitely NOT! - However:

    I like Mr.Cable and generally agree with him, but it is not acceptable to lift the 'Cap'. I would ONLY agree to that, if our Government EJECTED 'illegals' & 'undesirables' etc, and allowed in 'useful' immigrants IN THEIR PLACE - effectively on a 'one for one' basis.

    ALL the MILLIONS of people we let into this Country in the last 13 years - AND WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH WHO ARE SKILLED ???
    During those 13 years, Labour continually said they NEEDED to import all those immigrants - for the good of our Economy. How many of them were SKILLED? Obviously not enough in all those Millions... - The lies and deceipt we've had to put with from Labour.
    They needn't bother with their 'Leadership' contest - or even open their mouths in the House of Commons as far as I'm concerned...

    Our Government MUST start Training our people now ON A MASSIVE SCALE and our Universities must kick out the 'Airy-Fairy' Studies and concentrate on the kind of Courses that this COUNTRY needs.

    Our Government MUST also understand that we will tolerate NO MORE 'fiddling' of the immigration 'books' or any more weaseling attempts at diverting attention from our MASSIVE immigration DEBT - caused by allowing NON-skilled people into this Country.

    No more LIES and no more IMMIGRATION - PLEASE!...

  • Comment number 22.

    Yes, this cap will damage our economy.

    The economy is already in a bad enough state as it is, and worse is to come when the ConDem's massive cuts start to bite.

  • Comment number 23.

    "Should the interim cap on immigration be removed?"

    Far from it!

    In fact, apart from internal EU migration, there should be a zero cap.

    And the UK should:

    a) Take full advantage of interim limits on migration from EU accession countries

    b) Negotiate further lilmits on migration from accession countries until their economies are stronger and their wage structure more attuned to the richer countries of the EU.

    c) Take a stance that will never allow Turkey into the EU.

  • Comment number 24.

    What skills are we short of? Why is it a secret?

  • Comment number 25.

    4. At 11:43am on 17 Sep 2010, piscator wrote:
    "Maybe Vince Cable should get a law passed forcing these firms to train some of the 2.5million unemployed to do the jobs. This is just wingeing by cheapskate employers. There is a training crisis in the UK brought about by private firms, and foreign workers won't solve it in the short or the long term."

    One of the most stupid comments yet. You haven't got a clue, have you? We're not talking about skills that you can train up on in a few weeks. We're talking about highly specialised professionals, IT specialists, engineers with Masters degrees etc. Do you really think you can train up mathematical modelling specialist from the dole queue?

  • Comment number 26.

    For people who are coming here to fill a job and are independent there should be no restrictions, perhaps a sponsorship by an employer which guarantees the Job and the status of the employee whilst employed would work?
    (I have no idea if this exists in the UK, but it does in the USA and Aus)

    The problem (immigrants) are the ones who come here with nothing give nothing and expect us to hand them a house and benefits to boot.

    No one should be allowed to stay in the UK no matter which country they come from and live off the state.

    Persons arriving should get gainful employment, NOT be entitled to tax credits or housing benefits until they have paid NI and Tax for at least 2yrs and have contributed at least £10,000 to the pot.
    It is ludicrous that people can just turn up and put out there hand when they have given nothing.

    The only thing they should get is the bus fare home !

  • Comment number 27.

    Not being a businessman I'm not qualified to judge. Same for most of the posters here, I expect. But then I'm not a racist so I wont go and post any of my prejudices regardless.

  • Comment number 28.

    HYS - "Should the interim cap on immigration be removed?"

    "2. At 11:39am on 17 Sep 2010, ForceCrag wrote: - What's ultimately damaging to the UK is overpopulation."

    IN REPLY:
    In total agreement with this part ForceCrag - and it's about time THIS Government started considering it - It seems that ALL Politicians are BLIND to it.
    This Government is going to lose a LOT of credibilty if it doesn't take some DECISIVE and very NOTICEABLE action on the immigration figures - VERY soon...

  • Comment number 29.

    "some businesses could not bring in the skilled professional staff they needed to expand"

    This in the same week they declare the UK's universities to be the best in the world.

    What sort of skills are these businesses looking for that they can't find amongst UK graduates?

  • Comment number 30.

    We should be training our own 'in-place' citizens to fill the jobs that the country requires of them instead of importing more people from outside the EU to do the same. The cap should remain. We are a small, densely - even over-populated - country (less than half the size of France) whose resources are already becoming stretched to the limit to sustain the present population, let alone one that could approach 70 million. Furthermore, the ethnic and cultural mix of our population is beginning to create strains on the general well-being of the nation that, if left unchecked, could create Balkans style ethnic strife at some time in the future.

  • Comment number 31.

    8. At 11:48am on 17 Sep 2010, grainsofsand wrote:

    This country can do without people like Vince Cable, who it would appear is stabbing British workers in the back by trying to export out British Jobs to foreigners. Businesses want to recruit overseas workers because they do not want to pay UK rates and want to import cheap foreign Labour.

    The Labour government has brought in millions of immigrants over the past 13 years. Why can't businesses employ these immigrants - they have millions to choose from. In effect business is saying that all these millions of immigrants are incapable of doing the work required by businesses, if that's the case why have they been brought into the country.
    ===========================================================
    I'm reposting this because i agree 100%

  • Comment number 32.

    'In an interview with the Financial Times he said that under the current measure, some businesses could not bring in the skilled professional staff they needed to expand and some companies were considering moving jobs abroad because they could not recruit the staff they needed.'

    Probably because tens of thousands, if not hundreds, have bailed out of the U.K. over the past 10-20 years. I wonder why?....

  • Comment number 33.

    Vince Cable must come from another planet.
    Hasn`t he seen the problems with allowing immigration?
    We must start to send back many millions of foreigners to allow our own citizens to survive.
    If Vincy gets his way, there will be civil war.

  • Comment number 34.

    Seems totally stupid, to think that I have a perfectly good qualification, which I paid for, and training, the only way I get to practise is by doing voluntary work, which I refuse to do! In the meantime this idiot prattles on about business will be damaged, if businesses were that bothered then why are they not training/paying workers here? Vince like business follows the money, and like already mentioned the millions unemployed here remain untrained/trained unemployed. The UK is the pits, someone mentioned it being like a third world country, well they are not that far off the mark!

  • Comment number 35.

    "Should the interim cap on immigration be removed?" - (HYS):

    "14. At 12:06pm on 17 Sep 2010, Sue Cardiff wrote:
    Vince Cable needs to listen to the British public about the caps rather than making these statements. I for one voted for the Conservative goverment in part due to their stance on immigration, I did not vote for the Lib/Dems because I felt they were to wishy washy on immigration issues and had no real understanding of how the British public really felt out this. Businesses need to attract the shed loads of British people who are leaving the UK for pastures new because of better opportunities. So it's not that we don't have the talent it's that we just don't know how to keep it."
    ---------------------------------

    IN REPLY:
    Excellent observation, 'Sue Cardiff':
    I wonder how much money we could have saved, if we didn't have SO many UNSKILLED immigrants here?
    =====================================

  • Comment number 36.

    Funny, but before about the mid 1950s the country seemed to manage with a trickle of immigrants. Then, all of a sudden, we needed mass immigration and have been told ever since that it's 'good for the country'.

    Wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that, at about that time, British workers were exercising their rights in the workplace to agitate for fair wages, fair working hours and fair conditions of employment?

    I was listening to some whinger from the CBI the other day bleating their usual mantra:

    "Our members can't get British people to do these (usually rubbish) jobs, so we need the flexibility to import workers who will do them."

    What they actually mean of course, is that they can't get indigenous Brits to do these rubbish jobs for the wages they're offering.

    Which is quite another matter!

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    Should the interim cap on immigration be removed? Absolutely not.

    Once again it shows how out of touch with reality the liddems are. Uncontrolled mass immigration into this country has contributed to her decline, we cannot cope as it is let alone allowing even more people in. We have mass unemployment, a huge housing crisis, high crime levels, inner city decay which is spreading coupled with the worst economic slump ever. So how exactly does wacky Mr Cable expect allowing even more immigrants into the country will help? The libdems are a joke, even worst than Labour, and they are very, very dangerous. So, if the Tories had any sense they'd own up the coalition was a bad idea and call another election; most people did not want to see the libdems in power as much as they did not want to see Labour stay in power.

  • Comment number 39.

    Has your business been affected by the cap? Have you been unable to expand? Or have you considered moving jobs abroad? Can the implementation of the immigration cap be improved? Or should the cap be removed?

    On what planet is it better for Britain to give away British jobs to non-British people? Oh yes, this one.

    I am of the view that not only should the cap be lowered much much much further but we should actively be kicking out those that have out stayed their visas, have committed crimes, are just sponging and are otherwise here illegally.

    And before some leftist jumps down my throat; my mother came here from abroad so i am the son of an immigrant, only 'back in the day' foreigners came and WORKED. HARD. Most never took any handouts and were too proud to do so - and old British trait which is also dwindling.

    Moreover, the lack of real industry begs the question 'what do we need all these foreign workers for anyway?'

  • Comment number 40.

    lets extend the immigration to include those who will sit in parliament for the lowest wage as well as those who come here and hot-bunk in triple tiered nine to a room. 27 Mps in one house should cut down on expenses. On the other hand if it is not good enough for them why should it be for their employers the British taxpayer. Of course firms should train and employ people from this country first but there again as the government is so short sighted they will either realise it eventually or end up with riots.

  • Comment number 41.

    England is a country not a business.

    I do not care how beneficial immigration is (dubious), I feel that this country and the South East in particlular is overcrowded and has had such high immigration, that a period of at least 10 years is needed to assimilate those that are here.

    So in this case Cable should shut up and do what teh elctorate want and that is to control immigration!

  • Comment number 42.

    It's very difficult to believe that businesses cannot already recruit from our own large number of unemployed graduates. If that is indeed the case, then it would be better to spend money on further training for these people rather than paying them unemployment benefit while we recruit from abroad.

  • Comment number 43.

    As far as I'm concerned - Immigration and EU immigration should be severely restricted. AND companies forced to train employees for the job as they used to - rather than look abroad for sheer profit.

  • Comment number 44.

    By disallowing mass immigration, the UK will have to train its own people. No bad long term move however much it upsets short-term employment.

    Its also quality we need not quantity.

    By allowing only those with significant capital to enter we would improve our economy.

    Why do we want those without capital to come here and dilute an already desperate situation regarding infrastructure spending?

    Immigrants paying annual tax do not cover the massive benefit they get from hundreds of years of previous capital investment in the UK.

    We sell UK domicile far too cheaply.

  • Comment number 45.

    I can imagine the board rooms:

    Sir we're suffering massive employment! We need to get our thinking caps on!

    *Officials think and a cog in their brains breaks.*

    Hyuk I know, lets get more immigrants in to .... er.... take away the jobs... duuuuuhhhh... yea!

    Not often do I say something like this but... politicians are idiots. If the immigrants could take their jobs I guarantee they would NOT lift the cap.

  • Comment number 46.

    "
    18. At 12:15pm on 17 Sep 2010, anotherfakename wrote:

    There is a question that springs to mind... Is Vince Cable Insane, badly informed, terribly advised or in the pay of company bosses?
    "

    Easy answer, he's insane.

  • Comment number 47.

    "
    23. At 12:33pm on 17 Sep 2010, Wyn wrote:

    "Should the interim cap on immigration be removed?"

    Far from it!

    In fact, apart from internal EU migration, there should be a zero cap.

    And the UK should:

    a) Take full advantage of interim limits on migration from EU accession countries

    b) Negotiate further lilmits on migration from accession countries until their economies are stronger and their wage structure more attuned to the richer countries of the EU.

    c) Take a stance that will never allow Turkey into the EU.
    "

    No, the British people should be given their say on whether or not we stay in the EU. Coming out of the EU is the only way this nation can regain it's true independence and self right to Government.

  • Comment number 48.

    mmmm, errrrr, NO. It should be tightened by lots !

  • Comment number 49.

    NO IT SHOULD NOT. The only reason businesses say they need this to be relaxed is that they are unwilling to pay the skilled men and women of this Country a decent living wage..I thought Slavery was illegal..which is what the businesses are paying these people who get jobs. We have so many skilled men and women unemployed through no fault of their own trying desparaely to get a job.

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    This is offensive to any UK citizen who has worked hard to achieve qualifications and undergone training and is now either unemployed or facing unemployment. What Cable's pals in industry are looking for are overseas workers who are more suitable for the authoritarian and incompetent managements structures in this country. We are fed up with working under managers who cannot speak English, who have a culture which gives them a perception that the workforce are mere servants and that women should not have a voice in their profession.

    Keep them out, treble the cap, educate and train our own workforce, we have great talent, energy and commitment to work in this country. Stop knocking our fellow citizens. Get rid of Cable.

  • Comment number 52.

    No it should not be removed, I can't for a minute think that this would be damaging British businesses, i simply do not believe that there are not suitable employees within the UK. I expect the reason these businesses are complaining is because they're going to have trouble employing people below the minimum wage when they're not allowed to import them from their home countries.

    The UK is overpopulated by a long way, if these companies don't like it then move out.

  • Comment number 53.

    The decision should rest on one thing:
    Do you have the skilled person that an employer needs? If not, the economy says that you cannot leave that employer in the lurch.
    In Canada, "demand occupations" is handled by
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada:
    At the moment, we have 29 eligible "demand" occupations.
    As of June 26, 2010, a maximum of 20,000 Skilled Worker applications will be considered for processing in the following 12 months. Within the 20,000 cap, a maximum of 1,000 Skilled Worker applications per eligible occupation will be considered.
    For an application to be eligible for processing, the worker must include the results of your official language proficiency test, and either:
    - have a valid offer of arranged employment, OR
    - be a skilled worker who has had one year of continuous full-time or equivalent part-time paid work experience in at least one of the following eligible occupations within the last ten years.
    Note: These limits do not apply to applications with an offer of arranged employment. These ususally occur where the employer has done self-recruiting.
    Note: The 29 occupations are all
    Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations) or
    Skill Level A (professional occupations) or
    B (technical occupations and skilled trades) on the Canadian National Occupational Classification list.
    Simultaneously, when Citizenship and Immigration Canada designates an occupation as a "demand" occupation, liaison occurs with appropriate training facilities so that a curriculum can be drawn or an apprenticeship designed so that Canadians can be trained to fill future "demand".
    Our cap seems high enough to accomodate employers; our training assures that this occupation does not remain in demand.
    Ten of the 29 current demand occupations (the four numbers preceding the listed occupation represent the number as listed in the CCDO, Canadian Classification and Dictionrary of Occupations):
    7215 Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades
    7216 Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades
    7241 Electricians (Except Industrial & Power System)
    7242 Industrial Electricians
    7251 Plumbers
    7265 Welders & Related Machine Operators
    7312 Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
    7371 Crane Operators
    7372 Drillers & Blasters - Surface Mining, Quarrying & Construction
    8222 Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service.
    Not all procedures work for all countries, but sometimes knowing what other countries do can be of some asssistance.

  • Comment number 54.

    Immigration is a tool of capitalism.
    By allowing 2million foreigners (cheap labour) into the country this creates a pool of unemployed people which drives down wages and working conditions.
    Send all the immigrants back to where they came from and then fill the vacumm they leave with the unemployed. If someone refuses to work then they have their benifits stopped. If someone does not have the right skills then it is up to the employer to train them.
    There is no excuse for unemployment in this day and age, it really is a tool of the capitalist elite, or as I like to think of them "the Torys".
    The really shame is that Vince Clark who we all thought was on the side of the people is just as bad as the rest of them and Labour are no better either.
    Immigration is socially divisive and creates British unemployment...FACT!

  • Comment number 55.

    "
    12. At 12:03pm on 17 Sep 2010, Lucy Clake wrote:

    Businesses are not worried about the cap because they can't get skilled workers.It is possible to get skilled workers when it can be proved there is a need and shortage. They are far more interested in cheap labour, a constant flow of immigrants keeps wages down and this is what most businesses are interested in. This is why Cameron is so keen on Turkey joining the EU, his party members and donors are pushing him. The French and Germans are not nearly as enthusiastic as he is. Turkey is not going to provide a vast supply of skill.
    "

    An excellent point Lucy, which goes to show the contempt Government treats the electorate with.

  • Comment number 56.

    As a member of the EU we are signed up to free movement of capital and free movement of workers too.
    Applying skills criteria to immigrant workers from outside the EU, to ensure that employers skill and re-skill the indigenious workforce, is not a bad idea.
    The idea, prevalent among many HYS poster on this and related issues, that a mass deportation program coupled with a closed border policy will solve many of the UKs economic and infrastructure problems is just nonsense.
    However not many HYS posters bring rationality to this debate.

  • Comment number 57.

    The main problem this country has regards immigration is the BBC.
    As soon as someone says send people back, the whole pinko/lefy liberal organisation that is the BBC points a finger and shouts "Rasist".
    Or they remove your post, or they fill the Question time auatorium with liberal sympathisers to give a very biased view on the subject.

    A national refernedum would be nice as everyone could get to have their say and one way or the other HMG would have to accept the majority opinion, which ever way it went.

  • Comment number 58.

    It is damaging? to British businesses? only because these immigrants from outside the EU are a damn side more hardworking than the natives & provide value for money!

  • Comment number 59.

    Immigration has been a major problem in the U K for a long time now,its time our borders were closed,THERE IS NO MORE ROOM AT THE INN,wake up U K please.

  • Comment number 60.

    It seems daft to be encouraging immigration when there's unemployment at all levels, including graduates, but we can't really comment sensibly on this if we don't know precisely what the the shortfall is, and in what kinds of work.
    Immigration is such a sensitive issue that the quite reasonable suspicion is that what Business really wants is cheap labour. And by cheap labour I don't only mean in menial jobs, but the possible employment of graduates and qualified technicians from countries where professional jobs are lower paid than here. (Don't say the NHS would collapse - it probably would if no overseas recruiting were allowed)
    If 'Business' can justify its demands with details of what job types can't be filled, and why there's is a real need to go outside for recruits, then a temporary situation might be allowed if it were kept under review. But it would have to be a very good case indeed.

  • Comment number 61.

    Let me get this straight...

    The highly educated and economically astute Business Secretary is being told by some businesses that they are considering taking jobs or entire businesses off-shore because they can't fill certain highly-skilled vacancies with people currently in the UK.

    The Business Secretary supports the introduction of a cap in principle, but calls for some flexibility to ensure no businesses emigrate unnecessarily.

    Sounds like he's doing his job, really.

    For a minute there I thought the topic was "Complain Here about Foreigners".

  • Comment number 62.

    The UK currently produces about 50% of the food we eat. The rest imported.
    If there is a disruption to food imports then there will be widespread hunger. That could be war, terrorist attack on our oil terminals, or the end of world oil reserves (much sooner than most appreciate).
    So, Mr Cable, we are already dangerously overful.

  • Comment number 63.

    Clearly Mr Cable is living in some strange world inhabited only by Members of Parlaiment. We have mass un employment so why are we importing labour? The restrictions ought to be tighter.

  • Comment number 64.

    25. At 12:35pm on 17 Sep 2010, D Kearney wrote:

    4. At 11:43am on 17 Sep 2010, piscator wrote:
    "Maybe Vince Cable should get a law passed forcing these firms to train some of the 2.5million unemployed to do the jobs. This is just wingeing by cheapskate employers. There is a training crisis in the UK brought about by private firms, and foreign workers won't solve it in the short or the long term."

    One of the most stupid comments yet. You haven't got a clue, have you? We're not talking about skills that you can train up on in a few weeks. We're talking about highly specialised professionals, IT specialists, engineers with Masters degrees etc. Do you really think you can train up mathematical modelling specialist from the dole queue?

    = = = = = = = =

    Sorry I think it is YOU that haven't a clue - Most of the immigrants and/or EU citizens I know - and that it a lot - have the low level skills - NOT doctors or specialists - that deprive ordinary UK citizens of those jobs.

    Nor am I talking about a "short" job training time. The problem is - and has been - for MANY years UK employers DO NOT TRAIN - they prefer to poach from other countries. To the detriment of THAT country. Those other countries also take the trouble TO TRAIN - WE DON'T.

    Plus we have far too many people here anyway. Our population density is virtually the highest in the EU.

  • Comment number 65.

    it is people like cable who is destroying england
    as a manchester resident no matter where you go it is
    difficult to hear the english language
    school overpopulated
    hospitals over populated
    taxi driver hard to find english
    housing over populated
    funding always for people from abroad
    human rights always for people from other countries
    the libs have the reverse views of the national front
    english people are being turned into 3rd class people

  • Comment number 66.

    No its not damaging business.

    What is damaging business is the unwillingness of business to invest in people through training.

    Simply importing more skilled people is a short term answer with worse long-term results.

    Force companies to train people!

  • Comment number 67.

    If someone is working, living by our laws and paying taxes, then I don't think it should matter where they come from. They should only be kicked out if they stop working, living by our laws or paying taxes and at this point there should be no hesitation in kicking them out. Yes, there are plenty of unemployed people in this country who might have wanted these jobs, but if foreigners in these jobs are working hard I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed the opportunity. If after 7 years they are still working and paying taxes, I think they should be granted full citizenship and entitlement to benefits etc, but not until then.

  • Comment number 68.

    The new coalition should remember that the last government did not take notice of the general feeling that there should be no immigration and heed the consequences. Please read topic No 2 again this person is correct in what he says, in addition we should extend the ban on immigration to the EU countries until our population falls and we are able to feed our own people without relying on places like Russia etc., as a principal try retraining our own unemployed for unfilled jobs. My estimation of Vince Cable has fallen dramatically.

  • Comment number 69.

    I certainly hope the cap will remain or even be tightened. It's all very well for MPs and Government Ministers to blunder forward allowing into the country almost anyone who wishes to be here but they aren't the ones living in the densely populated areas in our big cities where sometimes one wonders which country one is in fact living in due to the extremely high percentage of immigrants. Nor do they shop in the 'ordinary' town centres and see groups of migrant youths just hanging around, the young women with toddlers/babies in buggies going around in groups barely able to utter a sentance in English between them. Have they been into a factory local to me where the huge majority of workers are either Asian or Eastern European and where the English worker feels the outsider. This my friends is where the resentment among the ordinary British working classes is coming from.

  • Comment number 70.

    Does everyone know this? - The immigration cap is a gimmick to fool UK people. If a company has presence in India and UK they can still bring people in the name of "INTRA COMPANY TRANSFERS aka TIER2". Absolutely NO cap on this.
    Unless this TIER2 also come under this cap, this has NIL impact on immigration.
    Having said this, I am migrant by myself from India and the Highly Skilled Migrants are in the highly paid top jobs and are contributing to the UK economic growth big time than the low skilled EU immgrants.

  • Comment number 71.

    No! Not at all, Britain is overcrowded and has high unemployment. Use a lot of the present unemployed to help root out those that shouldn't be here in the first place!

  • Comment number 72.

    Realistically, if people want to move to this country then they should be able to prove that they can support themselves and their family. Every other country I have ever visited stipulates this, so why do we give support to anyone who turns up without a passport?
    I find it strange that people arriving at our airports claim that they have no passport and claim asylum. If you travel from anywhere in the world you have to produce identity documents at check-in and at the departure gate. It is a simple matter to refuse admittance to our country and return them to their point of origin. This has resulted in the uncontrolled immigration that most people are concerned about. I do hope the Coalition Government restricts the criteria and number of people seeking to move here in light of the serious abuses over the last 13 years. The same applies to EU immigrants, yes you can move anywhere in the EU, but you also have to show that you can support yourself and not be a burden to the taxpayers of the host nation. Viva Sarkozy.

  • Comment number 73.

    To be honest this immigration 'cap' is a limited one and is well after the horse has long bolted and disappeared but it sends a message that the government is at least trying to start to address, albeit it in a small way, an issue on which the previous government was reckless.

    If we genuinely did need a few more skilled workers, which I doubt, I would not have a major problem with that as those peope are clearly likely to be contributing to the economy rather than being a drain on it. However, as I read somewhere (here or elsewhere) you can bet the companies who say they need them are looking for skilled workers primarily from places like India rather than, say, America, so they can get the skills on the cheap.

    But this is not the issue that most people are concerned about in any case. It's the large number of unskilled people who have come here over the past 13 years and the bogus asylum seekers who were really economic migrants that Labour either ignored or encouraged. whilst over the last few years the asylum issue was addressed, those people are already hear and nothing can be done about that now (except small number of illegals being deported). The main cause for swelling numbers now is the EU rules which we can't do anything about as many have pointed out, but also the families of the largely unskilled people who have been allowed entry and now want to come too. That is an issue the government could address if it wanted to and is much more significant an issue than the admission of geuniunely skilled workers. But what ever you do you can't roll back the clock which is where the main problems stem from.

  • Comment number 74.

    Working in the IT industry I know several firms that are affected by this. Don't believe them when they say there is a skills shortage however - the skills all exist in Britain and there are out-of-work professionals who would love the jobs. What the companies are actually complaining about is the fact that they can't bring in cheap foreign workers in place of UK workers, but of course they can't say that in public so they claim there's a skills shortage. In my last job I worked with foreign workers who had been working in the same company in the UK for 5 years. There was no skills shortage when they were brought in, and their skills hadn't got any more specialised while they were here, but they were cheaper than employing UK professionals and easier to get rid of when required. Cost if the driving force behind IT in the UK these days, not talent.

  • Comment number 75.

    I don't understand this question - but what I do understand is an interview in the Guardian by a now well-paid Minister, Vince Cable?

    Vince Cable, you earned much respect in what you had to say, and did, during the election process. Vince you did achieve many votes for the Liberal Democrat company during the sales pitch?

    However, since the ConDem Coalition came to power - Vince Cable, you went to ground as a Minister with a higher salary?

    Vince Cable .... very sorry - no evidence to support your purely academic ministery that promised so much and gained respect on your opinions; but has shown you have no teeth and no guts to support your viewed droning in the House of Commons - and worst than that, an obvious disrespect by your inaction for ordinary working people - so, for those reasons - I'm out!

  • Comment number 76.

    No I don't agree. Further, we should stop it from within the EU as well.

    And ban the exporting of our jobs to Asia.

    Yes. Little Englander, and no apology for being so, either.

  • Comment number 77.

    What skills are NOT available from EU citizens ????
    Ability to leap tall buildings at a stroke, ability to see through walls...possibly.... but other than that I can't really think of many areas where Europe (which is pretty big these days, and has a lot of very educated people in it) needs to import skilled labour, other than to undercut on price.

  • Comment number 78.

    Yes ...it was nothing short of racist - we exploited many of the countries from which people are now migrating for CENTURIES!

  • Comment number 79.

    Ah, Vince Cable finally speaks - is this the best he can do?

  • Comment number 80.

    In the days before comprehensive education and the rule of the pc brigade, the UK was a net exporter of talent.

    A return to good education, backed by decent discipline, and a concentration on skills rather than subjects like humanities, and we could stop all immigration.

    It's probably far too late to regain controll of our country. I pitty future generations, as things are at the moment, they have little to look forward to. Uncontrolled immigration, coupled with above a verage birth rates in many immigrant groups, are a recipe for disasterand the country is now reaping what was sown by the post war governments who allowed it to happen

  • Comment number 81.

    It may well be that a cap might be harmful to British Business. I am not an expert. I don't know what businesses or what skills shortages Vince Cable is talking about. Even if it were true however, business is only one aspect of the issue. A harmful effect effect to Business, might be more than offset by the benefit a cap brings in other areas.

    We are a small selfish island with a budget deficit.

  • Comment number 82.

    We have had to stop working at weekends because we can't get people to work weekends if the cap was lifted we could find people from other countrys who want to work.

  • Comment number 83.

    25. At 12:35pm on 17 Sep 2010, D Kearney wrote:
    4. At 11:43am on 17 Sep 2010, piscator wrote:
    "Maybe Vince Cable should get a law passed forcing these firms to train some of the 2.5million unemployed to do the jobs. This is just wingeing by cheapskate employers. There is a training crisis in the UK brought about by private firms, and foreign workers won't solve it in the short or the long term."

    One of the most stupid comments yet. You haven't got a clue, have you? We're not talking about skills that you can train up on in a few weeks. We're talking about highly specialised professionals, IT specialists, engineers with Masters degrees etc. Do you really think you can train up mathematical modelling specialist from the dole queue?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    I think the cap was somewhere around 150,000 people, we haven't got the industry left to employ 150 people with masters degrees. I'm fairly certain if the employers that required those sort of skilled people looked around, I'm sure they'd find home grown skilled that would suffice. More like they want to import the skills on the cheap, and what are the original nationalities of those that say they can't find the skills, are they just trying to import more of their own?

  • Comment number 84.

    NO. We are a tiny crowded island. Our industry was flogged off abroad by "our" politicians, who continue to wreck education.
    To bring in cheap "skills" is to keep on selling us down the river whilst banking the result. Vote for change, things can only get better.

  • Comment number 85.

    Many many times now having heard these throw away comments from these people that support an open door imigration policy.I have contacted them or their offices for some facts.Not once have i had a reply except once.When i enquired if imigration had made this country such a wonderful place.Could they tell me how many people were in employment how many on welfare.Plus the amount of family allowance and other tax benefits.The incomers having not put a penny into the welfare system but had got everthing out.I was told that figures would be forth coming i am still waiting.By all means lets have an imigration policy that is sensible.Not one that will mean misery for everyone.

  • Comment number 86.

    In the architectural profession there is currently a too high a number of qualified architects under-employed. We train some of the best in the world. Why would there be a need to import more architects?

    One of the reasons may be that foreign trained architects, especially non-eu, are often prepared to work for too little. Salaries in the profession are about half (or less) than any equivalent profession. Many UK architects are therefore increasingly seeking work overseas in order to remain solvent!

    The government should stop using inefficient procurement systems (PFI etc) and cheap badly designed buildings by non-architects. If it actually encouraged cost effective and well designed buildings by architects we, as a country stand a chance of living and working in a "low carbon' and cost efficient built environment that we can be proud of. The would have the useful side effect of reducing manufacturing overheads and living costs generally! If the government spent wisely we would all benefit. The only stable economy is a sustainable (in all senses of the term) one. It would appear that as a nation we are currently unable to support the population we do have, so increasing it seems odd

  • Comment number 87.

    43. At 12:58pm on 17 Sep 2010, RichardGrey wrote:
    As far as I'm concerned - Immigration and EU immigration should be severely restricted. AND companies forced to train employees for the job as they used to - rather than look abroad for sheer profit.

    ..........................................................

    You can't train people who do not want to work. We tried to get a team of people to work weekends on above minimum wage but just can't find people who are willing to give up benefits and weekends in the pub to work until any govermenty stops benefits for people able to work but refuse workers from overseas is the only answer for firms who need people.

  • Comment number 88.

    Absolutely not!!

    I find it terrifying that Vince Cable has actually spouted this nonsense and manages to keep his job, but with the BBC giving it wall to wall pope coverage he may just get away with it!

    The interim cap should be replaced by a permanent cap of ZERO!

  • Comment number 89.

    The cap should remain their till all the unemployed people in the country have found a job and the recession is completely over. The government also needs to tighten the rules on HSMP visas. What is actually happening is that people from overseas come and work for an outsourcing company, e.g. wipro, tcs, accenture etc.., and then these people are then applying for HSMP visas... and in turn flood the job market. These people have short term plan in mind i.e. to stay in this country 5 - 10 years and make their money and disappear (not actually contributing to the country in the long term). But in this short term stay it has huge effect on NHS, Schools and Demographics.

    The rules should be more tougher! But I don’t think any government has the balls to do what is required for the citizen of this country (whatever their ethnicity). What they will actually do is give you lip service!

  • Comment number 90.

    Apparently, there's a whole load of 'british workers' out there for these 'british jobs', so I can't see how there can possibly be any damage to business and immigration should be stopped!!

    Daily Mail told me

  • Comment number 91.

    Of course the cap should be removed; and pronto! This country deperately needs highly trained, competent individuals who will work for peanuts and put up with inadequate, expensive accommodation. The average Brit doesn't fit this profile, so bring 'em on.

  • Comment number 92.

    What an admission of failure.

    It was bad enough bringing in outsiders to do the ‘dirty’ jobs that our own ‘unemployed’ were too proud to touch.

    Now we have an admission that Britain has decayed to a point where even a ‘third world’ education provides more qualified workers. So much for the myth of endlessly rising educational standards.

  • Comment number 93.

    Mr.Cable is right.
    No highly skilled immigrants means more outsourcing to India/other countries and this will obviously bring the economy down.

  • Comment number 94.

    Let me put it this way...

    I own and run a highly successful, specialist business, operating in a highly competitive global market employing over several hundred people and exporting all over the world. For my company to grow I need to maintain an edge over my competitors.

    This cap has radically influenced our future plans for growth, as we need the best talent to survive. We are now having to seriously think whether being a 'british' company is more important than being a 'successful' company.
    Ultimately, we are only a British company, because I happen to have been born here and started it up here.

    The reality is, that to be a successful company, being 'British' is unimportant.

    So, we are currently investigating how best to move our operations overseas where: a) we can choose a more logistically sensible place to operate from, b) draw from the best sources of global talent and c) re-structure our company in a tax efficient way.

    Although we will nominally remain a 'British' company, the upshot will probably be hundreds of job losses in the UK and countless more from our supply base. All because we are finding it ever more difficult to recruit the best talent to be a global success - and in global markets thats commercial suicide.

    If people are looking for an underlying cause, in our case, its too little academic focus on the sciences and engineering skills in our universities (having a degree in media studies or countless other 'soft skill' subjects isn't worth the paper its written on frankly). We can only afford to run a limited apprenticeship scheme and the fact is, outside talent is available 80% fully trained.

    From personal experience, I also have to comment on the hunger for achievement that is lacking in the UK employment base. This has been dwindling for years - as a nation we've become far too complacent with the attitude that being British, we are the best and don't have to work hard for it.

    The reality we find is that compared to employees from outside the UK, British workers are much more likely to be lazy, unfocused, less productive, less interested and less motivated while quite happy to lean on 'their rights'. We have even trailed splitting work shifts on the basis of nationality (a British shift, and a non-British shift). The differences in output are astonishing and it certainly influences our recruitment processes even now.

    By all means, close the doors to immigration, but don't be surprised if in decades to come we really are a nation of shop keepers with no place at the top table of the developed world. We would only have ourselves to blame.

  • Comment number 95.

    Vince Cable sounds like one of the typical labor party liberals that want to force Britain to it's knees if only to maintain the PC image.Hopefully the immigration cap will be removed and Britain can carry on rebuilding it's self after the destruction the liberals left.

  • Comment number 96.

    No! and yes, depending on the skill base.The most bizarre case I saw on television was a Pakistani restaurant owner claiming that if he could nor import Indian style chefs whose family had been cooking for five generations then his business would go broke. He would not accept that there were thousands of unemployed British Pakistanis he could have indented into the trade by means of apprenticeships. Yet there are businesses that need skills instantly and there is no time to train someeone locally.

  • Comment number 97.

    No. More companies are closing down and leaving the UK because of excessive regulation and high taxation. Many of the big professional firms have teams advising on the best locations - office premises, schools, housing, tax rates, transport etc. They are leaving in droves. Vince doesn't seem to worried about that.

    This is a red herring being advanced by those who favour a completely open door immigration policy. If we really need skilled labour then we should have spent the last 10 years with a managed programme instead of simply letting in a huge wave of unskilled labour incapable of speaking English or of integrating with Western society.

  • Comment number 98.

    Not opening vacancies to the indiginous population is racist. Any argument that that skills cannot be found here are null and void.

    If companies relocate because they can't recruit local people they were probably in the wrong place and no asset to the community they were in.

    Byee

  • Comment number 99.

    As usual, the British government and the hacks who support or attack it are confusing immigration with working visas. There is, and should be, a distinct difference. Take the example of Singapore, if you have are well qualified and have an employer, you should be able to get permission to work. As soon as your employment ends, the likelihood is that you will not be able to stay. Fair enough. A chance to work in a pleasant environment, generally for good money, and to return home at the end of it - unless you can show solid reasons why you should be granted an extension or permanent residence status.

    So, why doesn't the UK operate a sensible system? Or does it have a sensible system but a confusion of visa types leading to confusion on the part of our native population, who never have to deal with the visa system? One thing is certain: you have to have systems in place to check those leaving the country as well as entering.

    And for those who are howling and wailing at the number of foreign students who come into the country, do you know how much our economy depends on the fat fees charged to these overseas students? Most universities would be financialy ruined if they had no overseas students.

  • Comment number 100.

    This debate is irrelavant seeing as 80% of immigration into this country is from the EU - which these laws don't apply to.

 

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