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The difference dividend

This report argues immigration is good for innovation in the UK.

This report argues immigration is good for innovation in the UK.

Key findings:

  • Immigration is rising because the UK is open to the world economy where more people are mobile and labour markets are taking on an international dimension. This kind of immigration brings substantial benefits to the UK’s capacity for innovation.

  • Immigration provides the UK with access to skills that matter like traditional science and technology-based innovation.
  • The City of London’s success in the past two decades has rested on its cosmopolitan mix of talent. Yet global labour markets are not confined to City high-flyers. They also operate in health, social care and education.

The debate over immigration is a polarising issue in the UK.

Those who defend the rights of immigrants to seek a better life argue we should welcome hard-working people who have chosen to come to the UK to fill vital skills gaps and take low skills jobs others do not want. There is a growing unease that immigrants are taking more than their fair share of public services, stretching the bonds of society and taking jobs away from local workers.

What is lacking from this debate is a framework for assessing the costs and benefits of immigration. 

Author:
Charles Leadbeater