Commenting on the Immigration White Paper published today, Stephen Phipson, CEO of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation said:
“British Manufacturers need a future migration system that allows them to recruit critical mid-skilled roles such as engineering technicians; the UK has a significant skills gap. Today, the Government has listened and responded to EEF’s arguments. We are pleased that graduates from the EU and the rest of the world will be able now to work in the UK post Brexit and the skills route has been expanded to enable employers to recruit from the EU at technician levels too. These are significant changes.
“Removing the time-consuming resident labour market test, abolishing the arbitrary annual cap and giving international students more time to stay in the UK after their studies to find work are additional EEF asks which have also been delivered and which will help our economy.
“However, many other proposals still cause great concern. Employers will now need to pay thousands of pounds to cover the costs of visas, the immigration skills charge and the health surcharge for new EU workers as well as work through a complex bureaucracy to do so; many companies simply can’t afford this.
“Further the proposed £30,000 minimum salary threshold would undo the benefits to business of expanding the skilled route. We will be making these points loudly and firmly to Government in the upcoming consultation.”