Breakfast Briefings

Migration policy and skills policy: substitutes or complements?

Breakfast Briefings / Friday 11 May 2012

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There is a very significant tension at the heart of UK immigration policy. Basic economic intuition, as well as considerable empirical evidence, suggests that skilled immigrants will benefit the economy. In many innovation-intensive sectors, cross-border flows of people - and hence of ideas and knowledge - make important contributions to innovation. However, inward flows of skilled migrants may under certain conditions reduce the pressure on host-country employers to upgrade the skills of the resident workforce.

Jonathan Portes will present new research (commissioned by the Migration Advisory Committee) on the effects of new restrictions on skilled immigration on the UK’s ability to meet ‘strategically important’ skill needs; and on the potential trade-off between skilled immigration and upskilling of resident workers. He will also discuss broader issues relating to the impact of migration on long run growth and productivity, and the implications for research and policy.

Speaker: Jonathan Portes, National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)