By Marcus Leach

Prime minister David Cameron has vowed to reduce the levels of immigration in the UK to what they were in the 1980s.

In response to Mr Cameron's speech on immigration policy, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) argues that the permanent cap is at odds with the Government’s policy objective of ‘good immigration, not mass immigration.’

“Since the permanent cap is only affecting skilled and highly skilled non-EU workers, the potential for Government to fill these roles with those coming off welfare appears limited," Gerwyn Davies, CIPD Policy Adviser said.

"The number of non-EU workers coming into the country via the points-based system has amounted to tens of thousands in the past couple of years. This is a, some pain, little gain policy. Further reductions will bring little gain for the Government’s policy objective to bring net migration down to the tens of thousands, but some pain for employers struggling to fill skilled vacancies.

“As recent official figures show, net migration has increased by more than a third since last year’s introduction of the temporary cap. Meanwhile, CIPD figures show that a sixth of employers have been prevented from hiring skilled and highly skilled non-EU workers.

"The Government’s efforts should therefore concentrate on matching those coming off welfare with unskilled jobs, many of which are disproportionately taken by EU workers, while giving employers every opportunity to fill skilled and highly skilled roles that cannot be filled with British workers.”