The CBI has backed government plans to attract skilled immigrants into the UK construction sector.
The CBI said it supported the government's white paper on immigration, adding that it was a myth that immigrants damaged UK jobs and were a drain on the public purse.

The decision by the CBI to put its weight behind the immigration plan comes after construction minister Brian Wilson confirmed last November that he was in talks with the Home Office over measures of this kind.

The CBI added that immigration was not an alternative to creating a more skilled workforce. It said this must remain the top priority.

CBI deputy director general John Cridland said the government must remain committed to tackling the country's skills shortage. He added that immigration did play a role in alleviating the problem in specific sectors. Cridland said: "We are supporting the broad thrust of the government's proposals for improved entry routes for economic migrants."

Home Office research showed that a 1% population increase can lead to an increase in GDP of between 1.25 and 1.5%.

The CBI said migrants contributed £2.5bn a year to the UK economy.