Commenting on the House of Lords Economic Affairs committee report on the benefits of immigration, released today, Chris Hannant, Head of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

"The value of migration to our member businesses and the economy as a whole has been substantial. By focussing on GDP the report ignores the contribution made by migrant labour in plugging the skills gaps that blight our economy.

"Many businesses are reliant on migrant workers because increasingly large numbers of British people do not have either the right skills or aptitude for work. Without the steady flow of migrant labour into the UK most businesses would be struggling to expand or fill vacancies.

"An employment focused education and skills set up is urgently needed, and this has to happen alongside reform of the benefits system to incentivise unemployed people to move off the dole and into work."