British government intends to attract immigrants to boost economic growth

In an effort to close the skills gap to boost economic growth, Prime Minister Liz Truss is pushing for a broad reform of the visa system to address acute labor shortages and attract top talent from around the world, The Times reported.

The report added that Truss, despite opposition within her government by Brexit supporters, intends to raise the cap on seasonal agricultural workers and make changes to the list of occupations in short supply, which would allow key sectors to recruit more staff from abroad.

Trace told that she was keen to hire broadband engineers from outside the UK to support the government’s pledge to have full fiber broadband available to 85% of the kingdom’s homes by 2025. It noted that she could ease English language requirements in some sectors to enable more workers foreigners qualify for visas. However, the proposed easing of immigration restrictions faces strong resistance from Brexit supporters, including Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Trade Minister Kimi Badenoch. Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg told that he would only support the changes if they were shown to increase per capita GDP.

A senior government source said there is a view within the Treasury that immigration is good for growth. Prime Minister and Treasury Secretary Kwasi Kwartang seem to support this view.

Government sources revealed that, besides opening visa routes for specific sectors, ministers are discussing allowing entry to more highly educated workers from all over the world. This includes proposals for a new visa for workers who have graduated from one of the top 50 or top 100 global universities.

The Treasury secretary has used his mini-budget to deliver the largest package of tax cuts in 50 years, promising to focus on growth “even when that means making tough decisions”. He announced that a new plan would be published in the coming weeks “to ensure that the immigration system supports growth while maintaining discipline as required by law.”

In a sign of a departure from former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s approach, Treasury documents noted that the decade of growth that followed the 2008 financial crash came in part from “large net outflows of immigration”.

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