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East Midlands Chamber News

Chance to steer future migration policy


Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s skills-based immigration system, announced yesterday, is expected to feature prominently at a Chamber-led roundtable discussion with the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) later this month.


Due to be introduced in 2021, the proposals include removing the cap on the number of UK work visas issued, reducing the level of acceptable qualifications and ending the requirement for employers to carry out stringent labour market tests on prospective employees.


The £30,000 minimum salary stipulation for immigrant workers could be removed or lowered and recruitment exceptions could be made for jobs on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).


The SOL, which will be the focus of the roundtable discussion, led by Tracey Liennard of the MAC, identifies skilled roles employers struggle to fill from the available pool of recruits.


Ian Bates, Sector Forums Manager at the Chamber, said: “SOL roles are exempt from the stringent requirements under the Resident Labour Market Test. This is advantageous for the recruiting employer in both administrative and cost terms when hiring Tier 2 migrants.


“Shortage occupation roles are given priority over non-SOL roles where the cap on Certificates of Sponsorship is reached in any given month.”


In June 2018, the Government commissioned the MAC to carry out a full review of the composition of the SOL. It is due to report in the spring.


As part of the review, the MAC wants to hear from employers to identify what is needed to ensure the SOL meets the future needs of businesses in the UK.


Immediately after the roundtable event, Thalej Vasishta, Group Chief Executive Officer, Paragon Law, will lead a discussion on how regional employers can work together to access essential seasonal and low skilled staff in a post-Brexit economy, something about which the British Chambers of Commerce has written to the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet.


The BCC letter pointed out that access to staff at all levels was something that affected businesses of all shapes and sizes and across all sectors and that it was “imperative that the leaders of a broad range of Government departments understand the implications of the emerging migration policy for business and for the UK economy”.


It called on Government to expand the SOL to include medium- and lower-skilled roles where evidence exists of a national shortage and where it is sensible to recruit from outside the UK.


To take part in the roundtable event at Geldards, Derby, from 12.30pm to 2.30pm on Friday 18 January, visit http://bit.ly/MAC0119.