04 March 2009

Foreign artists may find it harder to work in the UK

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Circus performers are worried that the new visa category for working in the UK is going to cause problems.

According to the Guardian, circuses in Britain are experiencing a shortage in performers, and the new UK visa rules are going to make it tougher to encourage foreign performers to work there. 

The new system for UK work permits is particularly causing problems in the China camp, where the Chinese state circus periodically travels the UK for 24 months, and under the new system for immigration, their UK visas would expire halfway through their tour. 

A committee of MPs heard the concerns yesterday, which included fears from producers of a London-based show that it would lose its £250,000 per night production because it would not have access to last-minute replacement singers under the new system.

Ballet dancers have scored the best deal, having their occupation listed as a skill in demand by the Government, while contemporary dancers and orchestral musicians are pushing to have their occupations on the same list also.

Malcolm Clay, representative of the circus proprietors, said allowing Chinese and eastern European circus performers to move to the UK would not take jobs from local workers, as British children are apparently uninterested in learning the skills required for their performances.


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