The IoD has called for Theresa May to scrap a “tens of thousands” net migration target, and warned against a dramatic clampdown as the UK withdraws from the EU.
May has been clear since the Brexit vote that immigration reform will be a critical part of the government's response.
And earlier this month, the government floated dramatic proposals requiring UK employers to disclose the level of foreign staff in their workforce, in a bid to “flush out” those failing to take on UK employees.
However, the IoD has called instead for the government to “wipe the slate clean” and launch a comprehensive review of immigration which factors in both the needs of the economy and the referendum result.
This should include the end of the 100,000 net migration target, the IoD said, and should also seek to provide immediate certainty of the future rights of EU immigrants currently in the UK.
IoD head of employment and skills policy Seamus Nevin said: “The Leave majority was, in part, a vote of no confidence in how successive governments have managed immigration.
“Dissatisfaction with policymakers was exacerbated by the Government under-delivering on a promise to bring the number of migrants down to ‘tens of thousands’.
“The persistence with this target is hard to understand, and we beg the home secretary to think again.”
The IoD is also demanding better training for British workers to meet the needs of employers, as well as more rigorous collection of migration data and stronger enforcement against abuse of the immigration system.