Thursday, July 18, 2024
 
 

UK to institute points system for foreign workers

EPA-EFE//ANDY RAIN

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The United Kingdom’s home secretary Priti Patel has unveiled a new points-based immigration system that the government said would end Britains reliance on “cheap, low-skilled labour”.
Under the so-called “Australian-style” system, applicants will receive points based on skills, qualifications, salaries, English-speaking ability, and profession. More than 70% of the EU’s current workforce is expected to fail to meet the majority of the new criteria.
The system will implement recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee to lower the salary threshold to £25,600 from the existing £30,000 minimum limit. The plan also has a scheme which will grant visas to “highly-skilled” researchers to come to the UK without a job offer.
“We’re ending free movement, taking back control of our borders, and delivering on the people’s priorities by introducing a new UK points-based immigration system which will bring overall migration numbers down,” Patel said, who added, “We will attract the brightest and the best from around the globe, boost the economy and help our communities to unleash this country’s full potential”.
Under the plan, the definition of skilled workers would be expanded to include those educated to A-level-equivalent standards, not just graduate level, as is currently the case.
Waiting tables and certain types of farmworker will be removed from the new skilled category, but new additions would include carpentry and plastering. Overseas citizens would have to reach 70 points to be able to work in the UK. Speaking proficient English and having the offer of a skilled job with an approved sponsor would automatically give them 50 points.
More points would be awarded for qualifications, the salary on offer and working in a sector with shortages. Students will also be covered by the points-based system, the government said, while there will be separate initiatives for scientists, graduates, National Health Service workers, and those in the agricultural sector.
Concern over the impact of high levels of immigration from the European Union was one of the key drivers behind Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the bloc and the government has said it plans to bring overall migration numbers down.
When the new system comes into force on January 1, 2021, it will treat EU and non-EU citizens the same.
“For the first time in decades, the UK will have full control over who comes to this country and how our immigration system operates,” the government said in a policy document setting out its plans.

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