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The government's plan to cap the number of non-EU economic migrants allowed into the UK has attracted criticism from IT recruiters, who claim some skills cannot be sourced here.

The Home Office is to hold a consultation on the plans. In the meantime an interim limit of 24,100 work visas has been announced.

IT recruitment firm IntaPeople today warned a permanent cap could hamper efforts to fill some jobs.

“There is a concern that a cap like this could prevent exceptionally skilled migrants from outside the EU entering the country," said operations director Phil Handley.

"With current unemployment figures so high, it may seem sensible looking for candidates closer to home, but it is not as straightforward as this.

“We have handled a number of key IT positions that would not have been filled had it not been for the experience and knowledge of some of these workers. We therefore welcome the decision to hold a consultation on the matter, and hope that the Government can devise a more localised approach, so that areas suffering from skills shortages can still recruit the talent they need."

Separately, a survey of 750 small businesses found the job market for graduates is likely to remain poor. Despite the economic climate, 60 per cent told FreeIndex they would hire an experienced candidate regardless of cost.

“Every employer wants to recruit the best person for the job, however SMEs don’t necessarily have the resources to fully train a successful candidate – they prefer someone who is experienced, who can walk into the job and knows what they are doing. And they’re prepared to pay for this,” said Managing Director Martin Turner. ®

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