Government unskilled at guessing skilled migration needs

After the release of the government’s white paper on immigration post-Brexit, the Adam Smith Institute takes aim at the idea that government knows the skills employers need, better than employers do themselves.

Daniel Pryor, Head of Programmes at the Adam Smith Institute, said:

“Today’s white paper ignores the elephant in room—the Government’s nonsensical 100,000 annual net migration target. Most sensible politicians don’t think we should set arbitrary quotas on the amount of doctors and nurses we can bring into the country, but Number 10 seems determined to apply this logic to our post-Brexit migration policy. Taking back control of our borders means deciding who should be at the front of the queue, not pulling up the drawbridge to those who want to contribute to our economy and public services.”

“Scrapping the cap on high-skilled workers and taking a more liberal approach to post-study leave are long overdue and welcome reforms, but proposals for a £30,000 minimum salary requirement risk creating widespread skills shortages and should be scrapped without hesitation. This is pure central planning. There is a reason the government doesn’t manage hiring for UK natives; it is worse at identifying the skill gaps of businesses than those businesses themselves. This is equally true for foreign-born workers.”

“Restricting low-skilled workers to spending no more than a year in the UK pulls up the ladder and prevents these new Britons from working towards a better life for themselves and their families. Our post-Brexit migration policy looks set to make us all poorer, our society more bureaucratic and our country less open.”

If you would like further comment, or to arrange an interview with a member of the Institute, please contact Matt Kilcoyne via phone (07584778207, 02072224995) or email (