EU immigration: two fifths of firms won’t reallocate roles to Britons

Yet more aftereffects from Brexit:

Nine out of 10 UK businesses believe the recruitment of EU nationals plays an important role in their UK operations, but despite potential losses of EU employees, two fifths of businesses do not plan on reallocating roles to Britons.

According to a report released today by immigration law firm Fragomen, 41% of respondents said they would not replace low-skilled workers with new hires, opting instead to move work overseas, scale down production, do less business in the UK or to automate more. And 39% of employers plan to do the same for high-skilled roles that may be lost to the new immigration system.

Following the UK’s departure from the EU, the UK government is set to overhaul the UK immigration system on 1 January 2021, ending the free movement for European citizens.

Fragomen, which surveyed 502 UK businesses, found that 70% of employers have concerns about the prospect of new immigration policies coming into effect. Only 20% of UK employers fully understand how the new policies will impact their recruitment and less than 60% have offered support to employees in applying for settled status in the UK.

Ian Robinson, partner at Fragomen, said: “We are rapidly moving closer to a new immigration system which will mean huge changes for businesses across the UK, but it is clear that a vast majority of employers are not prepared. The end of free movement for EU citizens is a fundamental change to the UK’s relationship with the EU and businesses will need to rethink how they staff their organisation and run their operations”.

“The report clearly demonstrates businesses are unprepared for the changes, with the IT, hospitality and construction sectors most concerned about new policies. Understandably, the global pandemic has made long-term planning difficult but all business with EU employees need to take immediate steps to assess their business to understand how the new immigration policies will impact their staffing and what the associated costs of the new system will be to your company. There is still time, but employers must act now.”

Despite government efforts to promote the scheme, 22% of UK employers do not know where to find information in order to support their EU employees ahead of the deadline, while three in 10 did not fully understand the cost of the new immigration system.

Fragomen surveyed 502 people working in human resources and global mobility across a range of sectors and company sizes.

There has been some discussion about the UK introducing a Displaced Talent Mobility programme to enable UK employers to sponsor skilled people who are forcibly displaced. Asked what business would do if such a visa was introduced, 73% of employers said they would actively look for or consider opportunities to sponsor candidates from this talent pool.

Marina Brizar, UK director of Talent Beyond Boundaries, which helps displaced people move internationally for work by leveraging their professional, said: “Talent shortages will affect the future of the UK’s economy and society, so developing new and creative solutions to address shortages is essential.

“The globally forcibly displaced population should be part of the solution through Displaced Talent Mobility. It is encouraging that this model is being seriously considered and enthusiastically embraced by the policymakers and the business community.”

Source: EU immigration: two fifths of firms won’t reallocate roles to Britons

The race for these seats in Italy’s parliament is likely to run through Toronto

Never been convinced of the merits of overseas constituencies as it raises issues of dual loyalties:

Mario Cortellucci is a real estate magnate in Vaughan, Ont., part the Italian cultural centre north of Toronto. He makes prosciutto and raw milk cheese and owns so many Norval Morrisseau originals he’s considering opening a museum dedicated to the late Indigenous artist. In his office, three of the paintings are on the floor, propped up against a wall among other hallmarks of a seemingly full life: a model of a suburb he’s been working to build for decades, photos of his children. But Mario Cortellucci is now, at 68, embarking on a second act. He, along with several other Italian-Canadians, is campaigning to enter the turbulent world of Italian politics in Rome.

Italy’s election next month will include races around the world, since Italy’s parliament has seats for politicians representing the diaspora in North America-Central America, Europe, South America and Asia-Africa-Oceania. Italian citizens living in the North and Central America region elect two members of the chamber of deputies (the lower house) and one for the senate. And while the number may seem insignificant among nearly 1,000 seats in both houses, tight elections in the past have seen some in Italy question why ex-pats in far-flung parts of the word should have any influence, said Western University political scientist Pietro Pirani.

A good amount of that influence comes from Canada, he said, particularly in Toronto. Canadian residents make up a quarter of the more than 400,000 constituents in the North American riding. Not everyone votes, however. And Toronto’s heavily-organized Italian community means local candidates have a better shot.

“If you want to be elected in North America, you have to come from Toronto,” Pirani said. “The largest and most organized community in North America is from Toronto.”

Not always, however. The outgoing senator is from Chicago. And the preceding one, Basilio Giordano, was from Montreal. Among the Canadians running for spots this year, there’s a sense that past politicians from the region were more concerned with the prestige and pomp than actually assisting Italians abroad.

“Just warm up the seat and they don’t do much,” Toronto-born senate candidate Tony D’Aversa said. “This isn’t about status, this is about doing your job.”

“A lot of them went to beautiful Rome and forgot about the people,” Cortellucci, a senate candidate with Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition, said on Wednesday. Cortellucci says he doesn’t need the salary – he’s donating it if he wins. Instead, he said, he’s running because he was asked at Italian community functions and feels an obligation to the Italian immigrants who he’s worked with through his over 50-year career in Canada.

But his affiliation with Berlusconi’s coalition somewhat muddles the message, since the group has seen much criticism for having staunchly anti-immigrant factions. For his part, Cortellucci says he’s more concerned with the politics of Italians in North and Central America. Plus, his campaign manager Giacomo Parisi said, “He comes from an immigration family.”

“Mr. Cortellucci is a strong believer in immigration.”

Italian-born parliamentarians are skeptical of their ex-pat colleagues.

Italian candidates abroad often are only nominally affiliated with their party, Pirani said, though it’s unavoidable that voters will usually be more familiar with party brand than the name.

“Their role is mostly narrowed to the ways they can improve the lives of Italians abroad,” he said.

Toronto-born Francesca La Marca, with Italy’s Democratic party, has served as one of two North American representatives in the chamber of deputies since 2013. She’s running again in the March election and fully denies the idea that the five-year term was nothing more than a pleasant Roman sojourn. She said she encountered suspicion and scepticism from her Italian-born colleagues and even some of her younger constituents who emigrated more recently from Italy.

It took spending 70 percent of her time in Rome rather than North America, showing up to votes and introducing a bill to earn respect, she said, to the point that colleagues in the lower house began to consider her as the “Canadian ambassador” – turning their heads in her direction whenever debate landed on Canada, or Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“It would be easy to say you get a nice fat paycheque and you’re always travelling around,” she said. But in reality she has to pay out of pocket for hotels and meals on trips around her riding, spanning from Panama to Canada.

“Again,” she said, “I’m not complaining.”

Source: The race for these seats in Italy’s parliament is likely to run through Toronto