CIPR joins calls for flexibility on immigration after Brexit

The government needs to take a flexible approach to immigration post-Brexit, to ensure continued growth in the PR sector, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has warned.

It has had input into a new report by the Confederation for British Industry (CBI), which calls on the government to abandon its 'numbers' approach to immigration and judge people on their merits instead.

The report, which was released last week, recommended that Britain should: "Drop the net migration target and replace it with a system that increases control by ensuring that people coming to the UK make a positive contribution to the economy."

It stated: "From legal, accounting and consulting services, through to advertising and public relations, a fundamental reason why the UK is an attractive place to do business is frictionless access to a European workforce. "

The CIPR contributed to the report, which argued that EU workers bring several benefits, including knowledge of overseas markets and language skills.

Such skills are vital to the health of the professional- and business-services industry, the report said.

Responding to the report's findings, Alastair McCapra, CIPR chief executive, said: "The UK PR profession is continuing to grow, in part due to businesses' ability to take advantage of free trade and free movement to and from the EU."

He warned: "While free movement will end [with Brexit], a new system must not stunt this growth. Particularly as public relations has a key role to play as businesses negotiate the challenges of leaving the EU over the coming years."

McCapra said: "To ensure continued growth the profession must be able to speak to audiences across the globe, including the largest and closest trading bloc to us, by being representative in our diversity. We hope this report will begin discussions and go on to provide clarity to businesses as they plan for the years ahead."

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