Home Secretary Announces new Skills-based immigration system

21 Dec

The long awaited publication of the Governments future (post Brexit) immigration plan has now been announced after several delays.

The White Paper proposals will, in line with the recommendations made by the Migration Advisory Committee;

  • remove the annual cap on the number of work visas issued
  • widen the skills threshold to include people with qualifications equivalent of A levels
  • ends the requirements for labour market tests by employers wanting to sponsor a worker.

Of major concern for the Leisure Industry is a mooted salary threshold of £30,000 meaning only those with a starting salary above this figure would be able to benefit from the new system.  One popular recruitment website currently suggest that the average wage in the hospitality industry is £25,000.  This would mean that many potential employees would not meet the criteria.  The precise threshold is yet to be fixed.

The White paper will provide access for lower skilled workers on a more temporary basis which the government hopes will allow all businesses have the staff they need as we move to the new immigration system but ensure they have the incentive to train young people in the future.

The 12-month visa will provide access to the labour market, but no access to benefits. People arriving on this route will not be able to bring family members with them, won’t accrue rights to settle in the UK and will have a 12-month cooling off period once their visa expires.

Again, similar to the threshold wage of £30,000, the terms of these short term visas have not been fixed and the Government have stated they will be discussed with business as part of the extensive engagement programme planned.

We shall keep you updated.

Law correct at the date of publication.
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