Rules governing jobs for skilled foreign workers in the UK tightened

The measures will ensure better opportunities for resident workers: Home Office

Tags:  MAC, Alan Johnson, Home Office

8th September 2009: After “careful consideration”, the government today said it has accepted the recommendations made last month by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to tighten up the rules controlling jobs for skilled workers in the United Kingdom under the government’s points-based system.
The Home Office said the raft of new measures would ensure resident workers have every opportunity to fill vacancies before they are offered to workers abroad. The measures were announced by Home Secretary Alan Johnson, who said the introduction of the points-based system has radically improved their ability to respond quickly to changing economic circumstances.
The new measures mean from next year all jobs must be advertised to British workers in Jobcentre Plus for four weeks – extended from two weeks – before companies can seek to employ individuals from outside Europe. This will ensure British workers not only are first in line for jobs but also have more time in which to apply.
The government will also extend the qualifying period for all those overseas workers who want to transfer to work at their company’s United Kingdom base. This will mean that they will need to have worked for their firm for at least a year – rather than six months as at present – before they can transfer here.
Additionally, the minimum salary that will allow an individual to qualify as a skilled worker and be eligible to work in the United Kingdom will rise, from £17,000 to £20,000.
The Home Office said: ‘We have now accepted all of the committee’s recommendations and we will continue to work with them to make sure that we use the flexibility in the points-based system to the best advantage of society and the economy.
‘These changes will ensure that businesses can recruit the skilled workers that the economy needs, but not at the expense of British workers, nor as a cheaper alternative to investing in the skills of the existing workforce.’
A total of 16 recommendations were put forward by the Migration Advisory Committee, all of which will now be put in place to ensure that the points-based system does more to support United Kingdom workers while continuing to facilitate the trade, travel, and study that benefits the United Kingdom.
In reaching this decision, the government has been advised by informative discussions with businesses and key public service organisations.

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