Today, Home Secretary Priti Patel will launch a new points-based immigration system that will allegedly open up the UK to the “brightest and the best talent” from around the world.
Talks of a points-based system have been circulating since the Brexit vote, and the launch is in conjunction with the new immigration bill set to be implemented in January 2021. The release of this legislation marks the end of Britain’s laws surrounding “the free movement of people”.
Those who now wish to migrate to the UK will have to possess at least 70 points to be eligible for a visa. This new law has been enacted in the bid to create a ‘high wage, high skill, high productivity economy’, a statement released by Gov.uk revealed.
How the points system works
Britain is battling a talent crisis
Tighter laws surrounding immigration, have raised concerns for many business owners in the private sector, who are already facing a skills shortage of up to 72%.
Workplaces which have traditionally relied on international job seekers such as construction and hospitality have been hit the hardest in the last quarter of 2019. Insight originally published in the British Chambers Of Commerce showed that 67% of construction businesses attempted to recruit in Q4, up from 62% in Q3.
CBI has its say
The CBI, an organisation which speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses across Britain, released a statement in response to the immigration bill
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:
“Getting a new immigration system right on day one will be critical for economic growth and the UK’s global reputation as it forges a new path outside the EU.
“Firms recognise and accept that freedom of movement is ending, and have sought a system that is both open and controlled, valuing people’s contribution beyond their salary while retaining public confidence.
“Several aspects of the new system will be welcomed by business, particularly abolishing the cap on skilled visas, introducing a new post-study work visa for overseas students, and reducing the minimum salary threshold from £30,000.
“Nonetheless, in some sectors firms will be left wondering how they will recruit the people needed to run their businesses. With already low unemployment, firms in care, construction, hospitality, food and drink could be most affected.
“Firms know that hiring from overseas and investing in the skills of their workforce and new technologies is not an ‘either-or’ choice – both are needed to drive the economy forward.
“So careful implementation across all UK nations and regions will be required. A regularly reviewed shortage occupations list, with promises of further flexibility, will be vital for the effectiveness of the new system. Above all, the government must work with employers and employees – especially smaller firms – to ensure they have the time to adapt to new policies and practices.”
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