12 November 2008

Report: 46,000 jobs given to migrants before local Brits every year

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Labour MP Frank Field this week called for changes to the immigration system to block the loophole that allows thousands of British immigrants take the jobs of local residents, reports the Mail Online.

A new report shows that annually 46,000 jobs are offered to immigrants before Brits have the chance to take up the opportunity first. 

The study, spearheaded by a cross-party group lobbying for Balanced Migration, found that these jobs often include higher-end salaries and skilled positions. 

Mr Field appealed to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to ensure all job opportunities are advertised to British citizens, especially during the recession.  Further, he urged the government to require all skilled migrants on work permits to organise a job in the UK before entering its borders.

Mr Field and Nicholas Soames, Balanced Migration's joint chairman, released a joint statement saying the Government is not working hard enough to ensure its policy of “British jobs for British workers”. 

"Everyone knew that the Government could do nothing to stop EU citizens from applying for UK jobs. What isn’t known is that, for the last few years, tens of thousands of non-EU citizens have been given jobs in the UK - and there has been no obligation for any of these jobs to be advertised here first," they said.

Yesterday, the Government released the amended shortage occupation list, which is devised by a panel of experts and represents those jobs that cannot be filled by local British workers.  The list will form a crucial part of the Tier 2 of the new UK immigration system that will go live on 27 November this year.  Only those jobs that are in need of foreign workers will appear on the list, so that the Home Office can protect the job opportunities of local British residents from the effects of unnecessary migration.

The new list has been reduced by 200,000 occupations so that now only 800,000 occupations are available for migrant workers.  Any companies wishing to hire workers in an occupation not listed will have to pass a Resident Labour Market test by proving they cannot fill the job with local workers.  

Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said the new Australian-style system allows the Government to remain reflexive to market conditions and consider population trends, so that immigration will not affect the prospects and livelihood of British residents.

"Had the points system been in place last year there would have been 12 per cent fewer people coming in to work through the equivalent work permit route.  On top of this, the strict new shortage list means 200,000 fewer jobs are available via the shortage occupation route," Mr Woolas said in a statement.


The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, UK Visa Bureau.


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