Low-skilled workers denied visas under post-Brexit points-based immigration plan

Remigio Civitarese
Февраля 20, 2020

Mario Kreft, the chair of Care Forum Wales, has called on Home Secretary Priti Patel not to "close the door" on overseas workers at a time when the sector was already suffering because of a major recruitment crisis.

Britain's government on Wednesday faced a backlash over its new post-Brexit immigration plans, which are created to cut "cheap labour from Europe" in favour of high-skilled English speakers and boosting the homegrown workforce.

"We will attract the brightest and the best from around the globe, boosting the economy and our communities, and unleash this country's full potential".

The Home Office said it would follow a recommendation made last month by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), an independent body which advises the government, to lower the minimum general salary threshold for skilled migrants to 25,600 pounds ($33,330) a year, from 30,000 pounds.

They will also need a job offer "from an approved sponsor... at the required skill level", and to earn more than a minimum salary threshold.

The scheme means that visas will not be available to low-skilled migrant workers.

Self-employed people without a job will be barred entry, although a limited number of highly skilled workers will be allowed to enter without a job.

The tradable aspect of the salary threshold is likely to prove beneficial for Indian professionals, who already make up the largest chunk of skilled worker visas issued by the United Kingdom to nationals outside the EU.

"Too many businesses are already struggling to hire the workers they need".

Ministers said the government is delivering on a promise to reduce net migration with a policy that would encourage employers to provide better training and incentives to local and existing workers.

'We have got a number of routes through the points-based immigration scheme that will enable people to come here with the right kind of skills that can support our country and our economy, ' she said.

"We need to shift the focus of our economy away from a reliance on cheap labour from Europe and instead concentrate on investment in technology and automation".

"We have a lot of experience with the current points-based immigration system which is used for non-EU Citizens".

Shaw added, "But for European Union migrants who are used to moving freely between Britain and the continent, the new regime will be something of a shock".

How will businesses that now rely on a steady supply of low-skilled labour be supported?

Her plans for future migrants abandon the distinction between workers from the European Union and the rest of the world. Companies and councils can't recruit enough staff from the U.K.so have to rely on care workers from elsewhere.

Welsh Government-commissioned research previous year found recruitment was the biggest challenge facing care employers. They are just lower paid and that's not fair.

Nick Triggle, BBC's health correspondent, noted that foreign workers now make up one-sixth of the 840,000-strong care worker workforce in England.

He added that it would be a case of "waiting to see" how the new points-based system works as it evolves.

Labour's shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, said the requirement for English speakers bordered on racism.

"It's morally bankrupt to pull up the ladder and deny others the opportunities you and your family have received", she said on Twitter. "But are we really going to block [math] geniuses whose English isn't great?"

"We need people. That's the bottom line. It needs to go".

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokeswoman Christine Jardine said the proposals were based on "xenophobia".

Sturgeon further called for Scots' own immigration matters to be held by Holyrood, Scotland's parliament, due to Scotland's falling birth rate and aging demographics.

Indian nationals continue to receive more skilled work visas than the rest of the world combined, accounting for 52% of all Tier 2 visas granted globally previous year.

A plan for a "Scottish visa" proposed by Nicola Sturgeon earlier this year was dismissed within hours by Downing Street.

Fragomen, a British immigration law firm, asked the government to reconsider. Give people time to adjust.

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