British PM urged not to focus on cutting immigration as staff shortages continue

UK premier Rishi Sunak has been urged by a key immigration body to avoid focusing on reducing the number of people coming into the UK. The independent migration advisory committee has urged the prime minister, who wants an overall cut in net migration, to instead cooperate with the private sector on how to manage and address shortages in the labor market.

The committee has called for the piloting of a rural visa scheme to help send workers to depopulated parts of the countryside. But it has cautioned against reopening many visa routes into the UK, saying that would lessen the incentives for employers to adjust pay and working conditions to attract workers.

The report comes as Sunak is expected to announce measures to curb the number of people making claims to stay in the UK after arriving via small boats.

Net migration in the twelve months to June 2022 reached 504,000. This is an increase of 331,000 compared with the previous year. A significant part of the rise was due to recently introduced visa routes, such as those for Ukraine and Hong Kong citizens, as well as a rise in the number of overseas students.


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