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Sir Digby in call for 'quality immigration'

THE COUNTRY'S top business chief has called for controlled immigration of overseas workers to the UK to help fill the construction skills gap.

Speaking to senior contractors at the Construction News Top 100 Breakfast Club in London last week, Sir Digby Jones said: 'I want a vibrant construction industry.That will come from better vocational training and managed, transparent and quality immigration.'

Sir Digby, who is boss of employers group CBI, welcomed the new vocational qualifications announced in the Government's education White Paper.

But he added that construction needed to attract skilled workers from abroad to plug shortfalls. He said: 'We should be saying, if you have the skills, can speak English and are willing to pay tax and contribute to our society, then you are welcome.'

He said overseas workers who come to the UK to work in the black economy should go home.