MAC: Govt should favour Tier 2 over Tier 1 to reduce impact of limits on business
18 November 2010: Next year, the UK should only admit between 37,400 and 43,700 skilled and highly skilled migrant workers, the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended.
In its report on the required limits on skilled and highly skilled migrant workers admitted to the UK under Tiers 1 and 2 of the Points Based System in 2011/12, the MAC said these reductions are the first step towards taking net migration into the tens of thousands.
Last year 50,000 migrant workers were admitted to the UK under Tiers 1 and 2. The MAC said that the suggested limit equates to a reduction in visas issued across the two tiers of between 13 and 25 per cent (6,300 and 12,600 visas).
The Home Secretary has stated that the MAC will advise on limits for future years in due course.
The Chair of the MAC, David Metcalf, said: "It is not possible to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands by limiting work-related migration alone. The Committee assumes that work-related migration takes 20 per cent of the total cut – its fair share – which implies that family and student migration must take the other 80 per cent."
The MAC has also advised the Government to favour Tier 2 over Tier 1 to reduce the impact of the limits on business. At the same time, the MAC advised the Government to improve selectivity of Tiers 1 and 2 including raising the points’ thresholds for earnings and qualifications. It also recommended reviewing whether explicit economic criteria should be applied to decisions on settlement in the UK.
The MAC said that reducing the number of migrants coming through these routes would be best achieved by making them more selective, and that action should be taken to give UK workers the skills to ensure that businesses can still recruit the people they need.