CBI director-general Tony Danker is calling for immigration to “plug the gap” in the economy, to help firms fill job vacancies.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Danker argued that Conservative ministers must recognise that allowing in more workers from overseas will help the economy grow.
“When it comes to immigration, it’s quite interesting, when you look at the OBR report on Thursday, they said the only thing that’s really moved the needle on growth is by allowing in a bit more immigration.
The reason why it’s so important is we have literally over a million vacancies in this country, we have 600,000 people who are now long-term unwell, who aren’t coming back to the labour market any time soon.
“That’s why we have to get this shortage occupation list – the list of people that we’re really missing that we aren’t going to get in Britain any time soon – and we have to get them to plug the gap while we re-calibrate the labour market in the medium term.
“I’m afraid it’s one of those levers that does help you grow, doesn’t cost money, but I recognise it’s a tough political choice for Conservative politicians.”