Is the UK attracting the global talent we need to boost growth?

After the standing room only fringe event at the Labour Party Conference, the APPG on Migration will bring together key Lords, MPs and business leaders at a breakfast meeting during the Conservative Party Conference, Monday 8 October in Birmingham.

Time: 8.30 – 10am
Venue: Exec Room 9, The ICC, Birmingham

The APPG on Migration will explore the theme of economic growth and migration at the Conservative party conference with a private breakfast meeting with key Conservative parliamentarians. It will look at the role that recruiting international talent plays in key economic sectors including financial services, hospitality, and education. Key concerns of business leaders will be debated, including whether current policies are undermining the UK’s ability to attract much needed skills amidst low economic growth.

The Coalition government intends to reduce overseas (non-EU) recruitment by putting stricter conditions on those wishing to enter the UK’s labour market. However, their intentions are not intended to restrict business needs and at least in principle should allow British employers to access the “brightest and the best” from overseas. However, some business leaders have objected to new policies including the new annual limit on skilled migrants, higher minimum skills levels for Tier 2 migrants, and a more arduous route to permanent settlement for migrant workers. Businesses have referred to the Home Office’s tough approach to immigration as “jeopardising workforce and business planning”; some have appealed to new Business Minister Michael Fallon to remove restrictions on hiring non-EU workers altogether.

The suggestion that the UK is “no longer open for business” is concerning for the government in terms of being able to secure global investor commitments, strengthen the UK’s competitiveness abroad, and nurse the economy back to health. With the UK Trade Initiative’s lack of confidence in current Coalition immigration policy, the Conservative Party finds itself in a difficult position: they need to deliver on their pledge of reducing migration to below 100,000 while at same time encouraging the economic growth and business investment considered attractive to global investors.

The private breakfast will bring together key parliamentarians, including Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Richard Harrington MP, Lord Wei, and Viscount Younger. Key business leaders will attend the meeting including Fragomen LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Deloitte LLP, the City UK, British Chambers of Commerce, Institute of Directors, and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. Universities UK and Aston University will also attend to reflect the views of the higher education sector. The APPG on Migration is holding this meeting in partnership with The Work Foundation and Barrow Cadbury Trust.

Please note that this meeting is invitation-only. To express interest in future meetings at Conservative party conference, you can email Awale Olad at a.olad@migrantsrights.org.uk.

This article first appeared on Migrants Rights Network blog.