Whilst the Conservative Government can rely on favourable statistics with regard to their handling of the UK economy the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on immigration to the UK (see figures below) however would suggest that the government has failed in their immigration policy.

 

I would argue that the perceived failure is of the government’s own making for pledging to cut immigration to the tens of thousands (which is now an “aim” as opposed to a “promise”) and which was fanciful and unrealistic.  Matters such as a UK aging population, skills shortages in many sectors of the UK economy (which will take generations or more to rectify) and the fact that there are settled communities in the UK who will always have the need to invite loved ones means that a figures of tens of thousands is not going to be achieved and the government needs to be more honest about this.

 

I did welcome David Cameron’s statement of intent in his speech yesterday where it would appear that there is a shift of focus to “illegal” working and “illegal” immigration.  This will inevitably lead to business owners, employers and landlords contributing to the policing of immigration control in the UK (more about this in the future article). Ultimately it is important that “all” immigration is tarnished with the same brush approach.

 

Business groups have urged the government to be clear that the UK will continue to welcome the brightest and the best from around the world to study at our universities and to contribute through work, investment or entrepreneurship to the UK economy.  In the previous Term this government tarnished our reputation abroad by giving a perception that UK is not welcoming to migrants. This was as a consequence of too much pandering to the UKIP debate and generally tarnishing “all types” of immigration as being damaging to the UK.  Often, statements of Ministers were picked up negatively by overseas media such as India (from where there has been a reduction in international students by 7%) which consequently is bound to have an effect on the other important stated aim to the UK economy – trade and investment with the rest of the world.

 

In a future article I will discuss the specific policy changes which are likely to affect you as an employer or as a business owner who relies on overseas workers.  For now you will see below the key figures from the ONS statistics which have resulted in the knee-jerk reactions:

 

The Key Immigration Figures for 2014 Compared To 2013 at a Glance

 

    2014

 

2013

 

 

Immigration           641,000

 

          526,000

 

Emigration  

 

         323,000            317,000
Net Migration  

 

         318,000              209,000
EU Immigration  

 

         268,000              201,000
Non EU Immigration  

 

         290,000              248,000
Immigration For Work Purposes

 

 

 

         284,000              214,000
Work Related Visa’s Granted

 

 

 

         119,883              108,876
Immigration For Study

 

           193,000              177,000
Immigration To Join Family Members

 

           91,000            71,000
Asylum Applications

 

           25,020          23,803

 

 

 

(Left to Right – Emily Bodden-Burton, Wayne Cartlidge, Stewart MacLachlan, Thalej Vasishta and Monica Kainja)

 

Immigration law firm Paragon Law have recruited 4 new members to their legal team.

 

Nottingham Law School graduate Emily Bodden-Burton has been awarded the Paragon Law scholarship which means that she will be funded by the firm to complete a part-time 2 year Masters programme in International Human Rights at the University of Nottingham whilst gaining practical work experience and training with Paragon.

 

Monica Kainja joins Paragon Law from Yorkshire firm Halliday Reeves and Stewart MacLachlan has moved to Nottingham having previously worked as a solicitor with the Legal Services Agency in Scotland.  Both join the firm’s human rights team working primarily with Social Services departments with regards to unaccompanied asylum seeking children and women who have been victims of trafficking and torture.

 

Ex-armed forces, Wayne Cartlidge after sustaining injuries was funded by the army to complete his Certificate in Personnel Practice and then worked as a Human Resources Manager with the British Armed Forces for 9 years.  He then held a similar role with Notts NHS Trust before working with Dell Inc as a Senior Immigration Analyst for 5 years.  Wayne joins Paragon Law’s corporate immigration department to assist their clients in employing skilled foreign migrants and sponsorship compliance.

 

Thalej Vasishta, the firm’s Managing Director said that all the new members of the team will add value to the services that Paragon Law offer to their clients.  He said, “I am particularly delighted that after a period of an inertia, the firm is back on track to growth.   We will be advertising further roles shortly both in our legal and support teams”.