Brexit news: CIPD urges talks on talent and clarity on expats

The CIPD is seeking engagement from government to ensure the UK has the skills employers need post-Brexit where the UK has more control over immigration.

Peter Cheese at CIPD conference 2015
Responding to Prime Minister Theresa May’s highly anticipated speech yesterday on the UK's Brexit negotiating position, the professional body for HR and people development said it welcomed the details, but asked the government to engage on how a new immigration approach will deliver people with the skills businesses needs.Mrs May said she was seeking a “new, comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement” with Europe and trading partners around the world in her speech, which was warmly received by her political allies, less so by business bodies. Mrs May said she would also control the number of people coming in to the UK from Europe.

Brexit and managing talent

However, with the Prime Minister seeking to deliver a “a global Britain,” the CIPD is urging the government to engage with employers and representative bodies to ensure ease of access for people from overseas with in-demand talent and skills.While welcoming the clarity of the government’s negotiating position, Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, added that employers will need the workers to put May’s plans into action.“The Prime Minister has made it clear that she wants the UK to be able to control its borders,” he said. “However, it should still be possible to design a flexible, managed immigration system that allows businesses to access the skilled and unskilled labour they need from both EU and non-EU countries.

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“If we are to use Brexit to deliver a global Britain as the Prime Minister wishes, then British business must be able to continue to attract and access global talent. We would urge the government to engage properly with organisations and employer bodies to ensure that their views and needs are reflected in any deal that the Prime Minister seeks to negotiate.“Given the implications for migration, it’s more important than ever that businesses look ahead and plan their people strategies, and understand the skills and talents they need in order to ensure that that they are prepared for the future, regardless of what the final arrangements look like.”

Brexit plans for UK and EU expats

Business body the the CBI today launched its plans for "sensible" migration post-Brexit. Mrs May’s speech yesterday at Lancaster House, London, also reaffirmed her commitment during negotiations to safeguard the status of EU and UK workers currently residing outside their home countries in the UK and EU.She said she already discussed the fate of 1.2 million Britons estimated to be living on the Continent and the three million EU expats living in Britain. Yet, the CIPD expressed further concern that this issue has yet to be addressed more conclusively, saying it needs to be a higher priority.“It is particularly welcome that the Prime Minister confirmed that the protections afforded to workers through current employment legislation will continue,” continued Mr Cheese. “However, it is disappointing that the Prime Minister is currently unable to confirm that EU nationals already residing in the UK will be allowed to stay. This needs to be an immediate priority in the negotiations to come.”

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