The chief executive of recruitment group Hays has said that a fear of immigration is only serving to hold the UK economy back. The FTSE 250 has just launched its Global Skills Index for 2014, while also showing a list of the countries that have the greatest talent mismatch; the UK has a rating of 9.6 out of 10, one of the highest on the list, which means that there is a massive gap between the skills that companies need and their ability to be able to find them in the open labour market.
The immigration visa system used in the UK has become stricter over the past few years, but the government claims that it is still possible for companies to be able to recruit professional and skilled employees from other countries to work in the UK. There are several visa categories that may be used for this, but most require that the individual has a firm job offer when entering the country.
There are many that argue that the size of the UK labour market, being small when compared to most other countries, means that businesses simply struggle to find the most highly skilled members for their team. With a tightening of immigration law, this means that businesses are being forced to adopt other methods, or simply make do.
Head of the specialist white collar recruitment company, Alistair Cox, said that many politicians are afraid to speak out against immigration laws, and that this means that the UK economy is not performing as well, or as strongly, as it could. He cited the figures in the Global Index as being proof of this fact, and said that they speak for themselves.
The UK has a talent mismatch, according to Hays of 9.6 out of 10. The US, along with Spain, Portugal and Ireland are the only countries that scored higher. The latter three are those countries that fared worst during the global economic crisis, and this led to many skilled workers leaving the country in order to find more profitable and gainful employment in other countries.