[CrashList] capitalism and immigration
jones118 at lineone.net
Tue Sep 12 00:35:15 MDT 2000
[from the Financial Times]
City backs immigration plan
By Brian Groom, Political Editor
Published: September 11 2000 19:06GMT | Last Updated: September 12 2000
The City of London reacted with delight, and business organisations with
cautious approval, on Monday as the government raised the prospect of
relaxing immigration controls to attract skilled workers.
Barbara Roche, Home Office minister, called for debate about the benefits of
"managed migration" to fill the skills gap and put Britain ahead in the
scramble for entrepreneurs, scientists and high-technology specialists.
Emphasising the contribution past waves of immigrants had made to the
economy, she said migration was becoming a central feature of the global
economy and immigration policy "cannot be static".
Migration could help Britain cope with an ageing workforce and address skill
shortages in sectors from information technology to healthcare, she said.
The government was interested in enhancing the "flexible and market-driven
aspects" of the current work permit system, recently speeded up to attract
immigrants with specialist training.
"One approach would be to make the system even more market-based by making a
work permit contingent primarily on a job offer at a sufficiently high
level, rather than seeking to identify employment sectors with shortages,"
she told the Institute for Public Policy Research. Judith Mayhew, chairman
of the Corporation of London's policy committee, said: "We are suffering
skill shortages in various areas and we welcome anything she can do."
The Confederation of British Industry, British Chambers of Commerce,
Institute of Directors and Federation of Small Businesses welcomed the
debate as long as it did not distract from the need to improve UK workers'
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