What can be done?
The campaign to cut immigration and stop asylum abuse
We propose the following measures:
Restore the Resident Labour Market Test
This policy is backed by 87% of Conservative voters in Red Wall seats.
Restoring the Resident Labour Market Test that would ensure UK applicants are given first opportunity to apply for job openings before employers start to hire from overseas.
As the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has noted, labour market tests help to “protect the domestic workforce from being displaced or replaced” by overseas recruits (MAC report, 2015 p. 151).
Raise the skilled work visa salary threshold
Raising the salary threshold to between £30,000 and £40,000 per annum would ensure that those coming make a net contribution to the Exchequer and do not adversely affect wages in the UK.
As the MAC noted when considering the shape of the post-Brexit system, such a threshold is “likely to ensure that…migrants raise the level of productivity in the UK, make a clear positive contribution to the public finances and contribute to rising wages which is the appropriate market response to a labour shortage”.
Raise the work visa skills threshold
Raise the work visa skills threshold from the present A-level (RQF3+) to graduate level (RQF6+).
As the MAC has noted, the skill eligibility is “very important in practice”. Indeed, it is a key instrument by which the route can be refined to focus on highly-skilled recruits.
The Shortage Occupation List should be reviewed
The shortage occupation list should be reviewed and reduced every six months in order to help ensure that the immigration system helps build up the UK’s skills base.
Instead of the endless expansion of overseas hiring, there should be a notable shift in national strategic focus towards training and skilling-up talented Britons.
Reduce the dependency on seasonal overseas workers
Seasonal work visas have risen 16-fold from 2,500 in 2019 to 40,000 in 2022.
From this year, it should be possible for growers to increasingly recruit domestically, including British, EU Settlement Scheme workers and Ukrainians looking for employment in the UK, and for this route to be reduced by perhaps 10,000 per year, and helped by more automation where possible.