Liz Truss is facing the first Cabinet revolt of her fledgling premiership over plans to ease immigration rules to help boost the economy.
Senior figures including Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg are believed to be unhappy at a possible relaxing of rules governing the shortage occupations list.
These are jobs where there is a particular lack of home-grown people to fill posts and the cap on numbers limiting arrivals to 30,000 to 40,000 people could be raised.
Other relaxations could include watering down the requirement to speak English to a certain proficiency, the Telegraph reported.
The numbers cap of 30,000 – 40,000 people could also be raised.
Ms Braverman s said to have joined Mr Rees-Mogg and International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch in insisting net migration must fall, as per a Tory 2019 manifesto pledge.
A source told the Daily Telegraph: ‘The Home Secretary does not believe that reducing net migration needs to mean we go to lower growth. You can achieve both. You can solve the economic bottlenecks that need to have higher skills but at the same time bring down aggregate migration.’
However a Downing Street source insisted that the plan would involved ‘increasing numbers in some areas and decreasing in others’.
‘As the Prime Minister has made clear, we also want to see people who are economically inactive get back into work,’ they added.
Part-time workers will see their benefits cut unless they take steps to work longer hours, the Chancellor said last week.
Announcing his Growth Plan to the Commons, Mr Kwarteng said the Government would ask claimants to take active steps to seek more and better paid work.
Universal Credit claimants will have to regularly meet their work coach if they do not work at least 15 hours a week at the national living wage.
Increasing the threshold from 12 hours will bring an additional 120,000 benefit claimants into the Intensive Work Search Regime, the Treasury said.
The UK has more than 1.2million job vacancies, and the Chancellor warned that inactivity in the labour market is limiting economic growth.