Following today’s promise by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, that post-Brexit migration policy will focus on skills – which is in line with recent recommendations by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) – Tania Bowers, General Counsel at APSCo commented:
“We support the Prime Minister’s position that the UK must be an outward-facing nation after Brexit to attract the people the country needs. A white paper outlining how the proposed system will work is not expected to be published until later in the autumn and it seems that UK policy is likely to be consistent with policies across most developed nations outside the EEA, by prioritising highly skilled work visas post-Brexit.
“APSCo welcomes Government communication on the post-Brexit immigration debate following the recent publication of the Migration Advisory Committee’s influential report on the impact of EEA migration in the UK. The paper recommends a focus on higher skilled workers, which is in line with our view given the skills shortages in many of the STEM sectors our members recruit into.
“We are also encouraged by MAC’s recommendation that the cap on the number of migrants under Tier 2 is abolished. Sajid Javid has indicated he is considering this option, albeit Theresa May has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to getting annual net immigration below 100,000.”
“We note that the MAC made little mention of the flexible labour market. We think it is critical that the Government recognises the importance of highly skilled independent workers to the economy, many of whom may be EEA nationals. The current route for non EEA workers, namely sponsorship via a Tier 2 employer, is not appropriate for the country’s needs.
“APSCo advocates a relaxation of the Tier 1 entrepreneur route and a recognition that Tier 2 employers can supply Tier 2 visa workers to end clients to work on their projects as agency workers. We are discussing this at our thought leadership event on 14th November and we’re delighted that Madeleine Sumption of the Migration Observatory, University of Oxford is our keynote speaker.
“Access to skilled professionals and engineers benefits the whole economy and, in an increasingly tight market, is key to stability and growth. To secure the best deal migration must form part of the exit discussion with the EU. To fulfil their clients’ requirements recruiters must find the best available talent either from within the UK or elsewhere. Until post-Brexit migration policy is finalised, there is a risk that the uncertain climate will continue to deter valuable talent from choosing the UK to build their careers.”