A recently released report from the Migration Advisory Committee says policy changes should make it easier for higher-skilled workers to migrate to the UK than lower-skilled workers.
The report, commissioned by the Home Office, gives policy recommendations for work migration after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.
In the event that UK immigration policy is not included in an agreement with the EU, the report advised no preference should be given to EU citizens over other migrants.
Chair of the Committee, Professor Alan Manning, said:
“There is no way to change the migration system without creating winners and losers. But we believe the UK should focus on enabling higher-skilled migration coupled with a more restrictive policy on lower-skilled migration in the design of its post-Brexit System.”
Other recommendations in the report:
- Abolish the cap on the number of migrants under Tier 2 visas while maintaining existing salary thresholds for all migrants in Tier 2;
- Review how the current sponsor licensing system works for small and medium-sized businesses;
- Consult more systematically with users of the visa system to ensure it works as smoothly as possible;
- For lower-skilled workers, avoid Sector-Based Schemes with the potential exception of a Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS);
- If a SAWS is reintroduced, ensure upward pressure on wages via an agricultural minimum wage to encourage increases in productivity;
- Monitor and evaluate the impact of migration policies; and,
- Pay more attention to managing the consequences of migration at a local level.
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