Mary Webb, lead member for Wiltshire at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said:
“Relaxing the cap is a welcome step to help employers access the skills and workers that they need.
"Allowing more skilled people, including engineers and IT experts, to work in the UK is particularly important for those professions where businesses of all sizes face a real skills shortage.
"Filling the technical skills gap is a priority, with half of smaller businesses seeing technical skills as the most important skill area for their future growth.
"Only one-in-20 small business employers have utilised the non-EEA points based immigration system. In contrast, one-in-five small business employers have at least one member of staff from another EU country. It is therefore crucial that we have a preferential future immigration system for EU workers that is easy and inexpensive to use, as well as responsive to the fast changing needs of small business employers.
As experts in business, FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in Government. Its aim is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk.