Source: Direct Gov
Foreign workers hoping to fill skilled vacancies in Britain's labour market will have to meet strict new criteria, the Government announced yesterday.
The Home Office today published proposals for much tighter skilled and temporary worker tiers of its new Points Based System (PBS). The schemes - known as Tier 2 and Tier 5 - sweep aside around 30 different routes to the UK, including the old work permit system.
British-based companies will have to prove they cannot fill skilled posts with a resident worker and must show that the job vacancy has been advertised in the UK. Would-be migrants will need a job offer before they even apply for a visa, unless the job is on the shortage occupation list.
To qualify, skilled foreign nationals will have to earn a certain number of points before being allowed to work in Britain. These points are awarded only if a person can prove they will be doing skilled work, speak a good standard of English, and are earning more than £24,000, or have a decent qualification. Employers will need a licence from the UK Border Agency to offer jobs to skilled workers.
Alongside the proposals, Home Office analysis showed if the tighter Tier 2 and 5 rules had been in place last year, close to ten per cent fewer skilled and temporary migrants from outside the EEA would have been allowed into Britain to work in equivalent categories - around 20,000 people. In addition the Home Office confirmed that from this year low skilled workers from outside the EU will be barred.
Border and Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said:
"Our new points system means that British jobseekers get the first crack of the whip and that only the skilled migrants we actually need will be able to come.
"By moving points up or down, we can make sure the numbers we allow in to the UK are in line with the needs of business and the country as a whole.
What does this mean to people who want to work in the UK? Is there a skills shortage in your area of work?