MAC report says immigration plays vital role in supporting the UK economy

It also recommends advertisement of jobs within the UK for longer duration and stronger arrangements for intra-company transfers

Tags: MAC, David Metcalf, David Metcalf

21st August 2009:
Immigration plays an important role in supporting the UK economy, says the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) report into the workings of Tier 2 of the Points Based System (PBS).
The report also recommends the earnings thresholds for gaining points should, however, be raised, jobs should be advertised within the UK for longer duration and the arrangements for intra-company transfers should be strengthened. Strong monitoring and enforcement of Tier 2 is also required, it says.
The report asserts sponsored skilled workers from outside the EU can work in the UK under Tier 2 of the PBS. This gives British workers priority on all advertised jobs. But where British workers are unavailable, Tier 2 will let companies employ people from outside of the EU, making sure that there are no skill gaps in the British economy.
Chair of the Migration Advisory Committee, Professor David Metcalf says: “In our first analysis of the PBS, the committee thinks that Tier 2 is working well, but our advice to the Government is that the labour market could be helped by requiring higher standards from skilled workers outside of the EU before we allow them to work in the UK.
“We believe that selective immigration that favours skilled workers, as the PBS does, is vital to ensure that the UK continues to be a good place to do business or invest.
“However, it is important that British workers are not displaced. We have therefore made a number of recommendations which will help to avoid undercutting and any disincentives to raise the skills of UK workers.”
The report’s main suggests the structure of Tier 2 is well designed for achieving its economic aims and for encouraging immigration to adjust to changing demand over the economic cycle. The MAC does not consider that it needs to be substantially revised in light of the recession.
The MAC has also recommended all routes in Tier 2 remain in place, but has suggested some changes. It also wants the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to consider whether there are enough resources devoted to enforcement, and the penalties for employers are sufficient.
The MAC was not asked to make recommendations on the economic contribution of dependants of PBS immigrants but found that, on the basis of the available evidence, they tend to be skilled individuals employed in unskilled or lesser skilled occupations.


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