Expert claims UK employers are missing out on skilled workers due to migration system

UK employers are suffering from a brain drain due to the country’s malfunctioning migration system, according to an immigration expert.

Liam Clifford, director of consultancy Global Visas, told Personnel Today that it was far easier to get skilled workers from the UK to Australia than the other way round.

The Australian government last week announced new rules that will make it easier for English-speaking foreigners to work Down Under from 1 September.

This relaxation of policy is part of a drive to bring more doctors, nurses, teachers, accountants, plumbers, dentists and IT managers into the country.

And this week it was revealed that record numbers had left the UK to work abroad. More than 385,000 people – roughly 200,000 of them British citizens – became long-term emigrants in 2006, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Global Visas is helping Hays recruitment agency find UK staff for Australian companies. Clifford believes the new system in Australia will make it harder for UK firms to attract and retain workers in the global market.

“This is yet another massive blow for UK employers, which are trying with less and less success to retain highly skilled workers,” he said.

“Just as the UK is facing an immigration crisis and a massive increase in people leaving Blighty for good, Australia – where strict immigration controls have always been in place – seems to be ready to make the most of the situation by offering new homes at affordable prices, many with sea views, along with excellent jobs, living standards and opportunities.”

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