General Electric wades into row over immigrants

ENGINEERING giant General Electric has hit out at the government over alleged recruitment problems caused by its immigration policy.

General Electric, which makes jet engines, gas turbines and other heavy industrial equipment, said it had been unable to hire a stem cell research executive from India and turbine engineers from outside the European Union because of the government cap.

Ministers introduced the temporary cap on non-EU immigration after the general election with a view to agreeing a permanent limit later this year.

But the move has faced criticism from business leaders who have branded it a blunt instrument, while others said the cap is too tight because it was based on immigration during the economic downturn, when demand for overseas workers was lower.

GE’s national executive for north Europe, Mark Elborne, told a Sunday newspaper that the group had only been given a small quota of people it could recruit from outside the EU.

Elborne said the move could damage Britain’s competitiveness and make it a less attractive place in which to invest.