30 October 2008

UK employers advised to train UK workers before hiring foreign staff

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Speaking at the CBI Migration Summit 2008 in London on Tuesday, an expert advisor to the British Government has told employers they must demonstrate they have trained UK workers to fill positions in the workforce before applying to sponsor overseas workers, reports Personneltoday.com.

David Metcalfe, chairman of the Migration Advisory Committee, said they would assess the need to bring in foreign workers with a visa for UK after checking the training programmes of UK businesses. 

"We will take into account what else employers are doing to fill the skills gaps," Mr Metcalfe said.

"Are they doing things to do with training as well as immigration?  If they are not training, then the case for bringing in labour from abroad will be very much weaker."

Pat McFadden, Employment Relations Minister, said the policy would work towards raising the skill level of the British workforce, and keep immigration levels to absolute minimum. 

"Migration and the free movement of people is not an excuse for avoiding the essential task of equipping people with skills in the UK," Mr McFadden said at the summit.

"It's not just about the migrants who come to the UK - there are issues about the skills that are here.  The skills system needs to be more responsive to needs and give businesses the ability to grow and succeed.  It's about equipping workers with the right skills, rather than about protecting individual jobs," he added.

This week, the Immigration Minister Phil Woolas announced the tiers 2 and 5 of the new system for immigration will go live on 27 November 2008.  The two tiers are due to replace the work-based categories for migration, including those with a job offer in the UK, and temporary non-economic related temporary migrants, including sportspeople, creative artists and youths on a working holiday.

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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