Thursday, August 20, 2009

UK's Migration Advisory Committee takes protectionist view

London, 19 August

Bordering on a protectionist approach, UK's Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) today recommended that the earnings thresholds for gaining points (for obtaining work permit) should be raised, and jobs should be advertised within the UK for longer before it can be offered to migrants.

The MAC is a non-statutory and advisory non-departmental public body that advises the Government on where migration can fill skills gaps within the United Kingdom economy. The MAC today placed its latest recommendation with the Home Office on how the latter can deal with the inflow skilled migrant workers into the UK from outside the EU.

The MAC in its recommendations today also said that the arrangements for intra-company transfers should be strengthened and strong monitoring and enforcement of Tier 2 is also required.

Chair of the Migration Advisory Committee, Professor David Metcalf said, “In our first analysis of the PBS (point based system), the committee thinks that Tier 2 is working well, but our advice to the Government is that the labour market could be helped by requiring higher standards from skilled workers outside of the EU before we allow them to work in the UK. We believe that selective immigration that favours skilled workers, as the PBS does, is vital to ensure that the UK continues to be a good place to do business or invest. However, it is important that British workers are not displaced. We have therefore made a number of recommendations which will help to avoid undercutting and any disincentives to raise the skills of UK workers.”

The recommendations that clearly favours stronger support from local employers to favour UK citizens, comes at a time when unemployment numbers have climbed to all time high level of 2.5 million and the country is heading towards a general election mid next year.

Non-official sources here said that an estimated 69,000 people from India have come to the UK on work permits in 2008 and around 50,000 have come so far from India till date in 2009. This data could not be validated with the UK Home Office.

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