Partner and Head of Immigration Chetal Patel was quoted in People Management, Personnel Today and I News last week for sharing her insight on what the rise in non-EU immigration to UK means for the economy and businesses.

Figures released last week by the Office for National Statistics have revealed that net migration to the UK was 606,000 in 2022, a record figure for a 12-month period. The statistics suggest that the noted increase was driven by non-EU nationals coming to the UK, a surge in students studying abroad post-covid, and, for the first time, the inclusion of those seeking refuge.

Non-EU nationals accounted for an estimated 80 per cent of total immigration since 2021 – a rise attributed to work and protection routes. When discussing labour shortages in I News, Chetal said: “Businesses still haven’t recovered from Brexit dramatically limiting the number of potential recruits. Now with record numbers of people on long-term sick leave and others leaving the workforce early, skills shortages are being more acutely felt.”

She advised Personnel today: “The government is making it very hard to access low-skilled workers, enormously reducing the labour pool for certain sectors. Businesses are having to increase wages to attract and retain talent, that sounds superficially attractive but it is driving some employers out of businesses and helping to fuel a wage inflationary spiral.”

In a similar thread, she told People Management: “The cost of visas for skilled workers has created a two-tier market. Large well-resourced companies can access these workers but SMEs can rarely afford to hire them. As a result, smaller businesses are missing out on top talent which means lower productivity and sluggish growth.”

You can read the articles in full at People Management, Personnel Today, and I News.