The Immigration Minister, Damian Green, has staunchly defended the Government's decision to introduce an interim cap on non-EU migrants, in the face of criticism by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The CBI has told the Government that the interim measures brought in have caused serious problems for businesses and it is essential that the UK is able to continue to attract the best talent from around the world. It goes on to argue that the ability of companies to move workers from one country is critical if the UK is to remain an international centre of trade and investment.

Damian Green responded by saying that the Government and UKBA were working closely with businesses and discussing how the immigration cap should work to ensure the new arrangements are implemented smoothly and effectively.

The Immigration Minister also claimed that 'the ability of employers to fill vacancies is affected by a wide range of factors including their own training policies, pay and conditions and corporate reputation. In the vast majority of cases it is unfair to blame our limits for recruitment difficulties'.

He continued by stating that he 'expects companies to look to fill vacancies from the resident labour force before they look for skills outside the UK'.