In today’s blog post we shall examine the recent comments by the select committee on the current Tier 2 PBS system. MPs have labelled the current system as ‘not fit for purpose’ and have criticised the government’s cap on employing skilled workers from outside of the EU.
The Home Affairs Select Committee said that whilst the current scheme limits migration from outside of the EU, it actually stimulates migration from within. The government are under pressure to reduce net migration figures after the net number of migrants increased by 30% in the year ending June 2015. The latest figures are over three times that of the Prime Minister’s target of 100,000.
The current system allocates a cap of 20,700 Tier 2 visas per year for non-EU workers. However, MPs have cited that the limit was counter productive using the example of foreign nurses who have valid job offers but, however, are unable to work. As a result of the shortage of nurses, the government had to take emergency measure to allow additional nurses to be recruited. As such, the committee stated that the current system is not fit for purpose.
Currently, the Tier 2 system is being reviewed by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) which will report its findings and recommendation to the government. The MAC committee has been asked to comment, amongst other areas, specifically on how to focus on areas where there are skill shortages, how to limit the times sectors can remain on the shortage list and raising the minimum salary threshold.
Critics have criticised the decision to potentially raise the minimum salary fearing a rise in the cost of services, unnecessarily complicating the process and could discourage migrants and companies from doing business in the UK.
Across the board the government have stepped up measures to decrease net migration to the UK. Indeed, heading into 2016 immigration looks to be a key issue within the EU referendum debate as the government aim to renegotiate Britain’s position within the EU. Clampdowns on student visas, increased restrictions for Tier 1 entrepreneur and Investor visas are all aprt of the government’s wider scheme to start making a dent in increasingly growing immigration numbers.
The key issue within the measures taken by the government revolve around EU and non EU migrants. Some feel that the government are overcompensating the inability to limit EU migration by making non-EU migration increasingly difficult. What remains to be seen is how the government can marry a pro-business outlook with an anti-immigration stance.
Are you affected by the current Tier 2 measures? How do you think the government should refine the system? Should the UK encourage further non EU migration? Let us know by leaving your thoughts below.
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