11 September 2009

Skilled migrants still able to get UK work permit, says policy advisor

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Gerwyn Davies, public policy adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, called on employers to be positive about the recent UK immigration changes saying that it will still be possible to recruit skilled migrant workers.

UK work permit

UK work permits will still be attainable, says policy advisor.

"They [the Government]  have tightened the criteria, but it won't have a major impact on the numbers coming into the UK to work - it's still a points-based system," Mr Davies told Personnel Today.

Recently the Government increased the amount of time employers need to advertise skilled jobs in Jobcentre Plus from two to four weeks before they can employ non-EU workers on a UK work permit

Other changes include the extention of the qualifying period for all those overseas workers who want to transfer to their company's UK offices. Overseas skilled workers will have needed to have worked for their firm for at least one year, rather than the current six months, before they can transfer.

Mr Davies said the changes would not make it more difficult to recruit the right workers for employers.

"In terms of skills shortages, they have made two changes to make it easier," he said. "People with masters degrees are given more points in Tier 2, and certain occupations in the public sector can get extra points," he said.

John Cridland, CBI director-general, said the changes actually strike a balance needed for the UK economy.

"These proposals strike the sensible balance that businesses were looking for. It is right that the UK work permit reacts to the recession and rising unemployment, but abolishing key routes into the country would have damaged the economy at this critical time," he said.

David Gibbons Wood, director of the Centre for International Labour Market Studies at the Robert Gordon University, said the move will increase wages by increasing the demand for UK workers while at the same time limiting the supply of workers. 

"The government is trying to increase demand for UK workers. However, overall, what they will do is limit the supply of workers to UK companies for the particular skills they are trying to recruit," he said.


 The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK immigration and UK work permit applications.


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