UKBA defends policies

October 3, 2013 No Comments

40The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has defended its current policies and actions, arguing that it is building a better immigration system which works in the national interest. The organisation, now part of the Home Office, says it is developing a system that is supporting the UK economy by welcoming the ‘brightest and the best’ and protecting public services by keeping out those intending to exploit the system.

According to a UKBA statement: “Half of all jobs in this country come from small and medium sized businesses and we recognise that attracting skilled individuals to these jobs is integral to safeguarding Britain’s future growth prospects. While our tough new rules mean that net migration is at its lowest level for a decade our reforms are supporting growth, allowing UK employers to harness the expertise, insight and contacts of talented individuals from across the world to help them succeed.”

UKBA points out that 20,700 individuals can come to the UK every year through the skilled worker route to take up roles which cannot be filled by resident workers, while over 26,500 UK employers are currently licensed to bring in outside talent, including the catering and hospitality sectors.
In recognition that some roles are particularly difficult to fill from the UK labour market, over 100 highly skilled job types are currently included on the shortage occupation list, including executive chefs, head chefs, specialist chefs and sous chefs. “Employing someone for a role listed in these areas means the employer does not have to first advertise the job within the UK helping speed up the recruitment process,” states UKBA.

Talented students can stay on after their studies to take up roles in UK businesses. As long as they have a graduate job with a salary of at least £20,300 they can stay with no limit on numbers.

To encourage more investment in the UK, the Agency has made changes to the investor and entrepreneur routes to make the UK a more attractive option for these valuable migrants. The time it takes for the biggest investors and most successful entrepreneurs to settle here has been reduced for those who have the most to offer and contribute to UK businesses, for instance.

According to UKBA, “We have been clear that Britain remains open for business and we want to make it as easy as possible for UK employers to bring in the talented people they need. We’ve kept the mandatory requirements for migrants to a minimum but it’s important that everyone who comes to the UK is able to contribute fully to British life and have a positive impact on the country. Minimum salary and language requirements ensure migrants can support themselves and play an active role in their community. “

UKBA remains determined to crack down on illegal working and points out that it has now made it easier for businesses to check that their employees can work in the UK by launching an interactive online tool – https://www.gov.uk/legal-right-to-work-in-the-uk – which guides employers through the simple checks they must make. “We are not trying to catch legitimate employers out, but we will not allow the growth of a shadow economy for illegal migrants,” concludes UKBA.

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