Skilled workers are a valuable addition to the British workforce, says London First in a report published this week. The report was published in response to a review commissioned by the Home Office which is to be conducted by the Migration Advisory Committee into the Tier 2 (General) visa.
The Tier 2 visas grants migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) the right to reside in the UK through skilled employment. The purpose of the Migration Advisory Committee's review is to assess ways to limit Tier 2 routes to reduce net migration and look at the impact of applying measures from the Immigration Act 2014 such as applying a health surcharge for use of the NHS.
In their report, London First state that Tier 2 is an effective way for business in London to not only access “global talent” but also creates an international network of employees across their offices. Only 52,500 migrants entered the UK under the Tier 2 visa in 2014, making up 0.0017% of the total workforce. They found it counterproductive to curtail Tier 2 visas, especially because these international companies create jobs.
The main message from the report is a call to end restrictions in place to curtail migration by skilled workers and to maintain the existing threshold for salaries paid. “As growth picks up, business needs and immigration system that flexibly supports their recruitment of international talent, rather than hinders it”.
London First is a non-profit organisation that represents leading employers to promote the Capital as one of the leading global cities for innovative business.
A wider review of the Tier 2 routes by the Migration Advisory Committee is due to be published in December.