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Charles Levy
Senior Economist

Simply the best? Highly-skilled migrants and the UK's knowledge economy

Simply the best? Highly-skilled migrants and the UK's knowledge economy

Laurence Hopkins and Charles Levy
28 June 2012

Recovery from recession will depend on our ability to develop as a knowledge economy. Success here depends on the ability of our workforce to support and drive the creation and exploitation of innovative new products, processes and services. The UK’s past success here has drawn on our ability to attract individuals with highly specific competencies, qualities, experience, knowledge and ideas. When thinking about skills we must avoid the lump of labour fallacy: high levels of unemployment do not mean that all of these capabilities are available to us from within the UK. We need an immigration policy which acknowledges this and sends clear signals to the rest of the world.

This report outlines the complex issue of visa distribution and offers recommendations to government to ensure that immigration policy is best contributing to the UK workforce, ensuring that international students remain a valuable source of high-level skills for the UK knowledge economy.

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