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UK government aims to restrict non-EU workers

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said last week that the Migration Advisory Committee will be suggesting to the government how to cut down the number of non-EU migrant workers.
June 17 2015
2 Min Read

The UK government has announced it will be looking into cutting the number of migrant workers entering the UK from outside of the EU.

Prime Minister David Cameron declared in the House of Commons last week that the Migration Advisory Committee will be suggesting to the government how to reduce the number of non-EU migrants coming to work in the country.

“There is already a widespread view … that UK firms are missing out on skilled talent”

“In the past it has been too easy for some businesses to bring in workers from overseas rather than to take the long-term decision to train our workforce here at home,” said Cameron, during Prime Minister’s Questions last week.

“We need to do more to change that, which means reducing the demand for migrant labour, and that is part of our plan.”

The Home Secretary has asked the committee to look into raising the salary threshold of Tier 2 visas to attract the best skilled workers.

The committee will also advise on putting a time limit on how long a particular sector can claim to have a skills shortage, as well as a new levy on Tier 2 visas to increase funding to UK apprenticeships.

If migrant worker levels are reduced, it could affect the UK’s already waning appeal for international graduates as skilled workers as many who stay in the UK after graduation do so on a Tier 2 visa.

Dominic Scott, Chief Executive of the UK Council for International Student Affairs, said that while this was not necessarily brought in to focus on international students specifically, they may well be affected.

“I think the concern here, for international students and those who work with them, will be whether this review might lead to higher salary levels (or fees) being required for graduates moving from Tier 4 to Tier 2,” he told The PIE News.

“There is already a widespread view that as fewer than 5,000 are now able to do so annually, the UK is becoming less attractive to what the Prime Minister calls ‘the brightest and the best’ and that UK firms are missing out on skilled talent,” he added.

Just last month, the Prime Minister pledged to crackdown on immigration, after net migration reached 318,000 last year – more than triple his 100,000 target.

The migration advisory committee has been asked to feed back to the government by the end of the year.

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