Employers have given a mixed response to suggestions by the Government that overseas workers should fill jobs in the UK in areas where skills are in short supply.
Home Office minister Barbara Roche floated the idea on Monday during a highly publicised speech aimed at widening the debate on immigration.
The Institute of Directors, which represents small companies, said that immigration relaxations would be welcome. "If there is a skills shortage, companies need to find people from whatever source is available," a spokesman said.
The British Computer Society said that any changes would need to be carefully thought through. "They will need to make sure the people they bring in have the right technical qualifications," said John Ivinson, BCS vice-president, professional and public affairs.