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Points-based immigration system ‘encouraging’ firms to invest in British workforce

Written by Latifa Yedroudj on Friday, 03 December 2021. Posted in Global, Politics, HR, Analysis, People

The New Plan for Immigration will reduce the pull factors in Britain’s asylum system

Points-based immigration system ‘encouraging’ firms to invest in British workforce

The New Plan for Immigration will reduce the pull factors in Britain’s asylum system 

It’s been one year since the British government introduced the point-based immigration system in the country’s biggest shift in immigration policy to date. The new system was set up to attract skilled workers across construction, hospitality, health, social care, science and research, who would be employed in the UK under the Skilled Worker Visa. Twelve months on, the country has attracted top talent across the world, employing people based on talent rather than basing it on the country they come from. 

The points-based immigration system allows employers to recruit those who have essential skills needed to upgrade the economy and fill in vital roles required in the British workforce. The points-based immigration system awards points for people who have a skilled job and help strengthen the workforce, with workers as valuable assets to various industries. The points-based immigration system is working in tandem with government initiatives such as the Plan for Jobs and the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, designed to help people secure a great job while ensuring businesses have access to the workforce they need now and in the future. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Our departure from the European Union enabled us to end freedom of movement and introduce a new points-based immigration system to control who can come to our country legally. One year on, our system is making it easier for businesses to hire the skills and talent they need, while incentivising investment in our domestic workforce, boosting wages across the country. But illegal migration remains a long-standing problem with the number of small boats crossing the Channel unsafe, unfair and unacceptable. My New Plan for Immigration will reduce the pull factors in our asylum system enabling us to have full control of our immigration system.” 

The new Skilled Worker visa has attracted thousands of talented workers from across the world. The number of granted Skilled Worker visas increased by 57% – this visa accounts for 61% of work-related visas granted in the UK. The Global Talent route increased from 595 to 2,786 visas issued by the end of September 2021. In comparison, 110,721 Skilled Worker visas were granted by the end of September 2019 and 80,151 granted by the end of September 2020 – highlighting the impact of the pandemic on migration. The end of free movement a year ago allows the UK to count all skilled workers coming to the country. 

Over the last year, the UK has welcomed thousands of workers with the in-demand including IT workers, scientists, plumbers, architects, butchers, doctors, creative workers and bricklayers. These skilled workers are supporting public services, boosting growth and driving international competitiveness in the UK’s most innovative companies. And as a result, their efforts are helping to boost wages and opportunities. 

The number of visas issued across work and study routes has recovered to pre-pandemic levels, showing how the UK continues to attract worldwide talent and skills to support economic recovery. Minister for Safe and Legal Migration Kevin Foster said: “As we recover from the pandemic, our points-based immigration system encourages businesses to focus on their UK workforces, investing in British people and skills, while boosting growth and the economy. 

“At the same time, we recognise there are jobs where we need the expertise and skills of overseas workers and extraordinarily talented people who want to make the UK their home. Under our points-based immigration system, people who want to contribute to our society will be welcome, based on their skills and talents, not where their passport is from.” 

Lynne Watson, Vice President of Human Resources, Thales UK said: “The work we do at Thales, from engineering to manufacturing, is highly skilled and requires us to draw on talent from across the globe to deliver cutting edge technology and products for our customers. We are very proud of our diverse workforce at Thales and we see our sponsored route visa workers as a strong asset to that. We are pleased that the UK continues to be such an appealing place for so many of our global employees to live and work”. 

In Spring 2022, more visa routes will open, including the Scale-Up, High Potential Individual and Global Business Mobility routes. These will provide more opportunities for businesses to recruit leading people in their fields and encourage brilliant innovators and entrepreneurs to open enterprises in the UK – supporting British jobs, contributing to the economy and improving the UK’s standing on the world stage.

About the Author

Latifa Yedroudj

Latifa Yedroudj

Latifa Yedroudj has joined the Elite team to fully immerse herself in the business side of journalism, a strong passion of hers cultivated from young having co-run her mother's start up business since she was 18. Her interests lie in a wide range of subjects, including start ups, business, travel, and anything entrepreneurial she can get her hands on. She has worked for some of the biggest names in journalism including The Guardian and The Mirror. Follow her on @latifayed on Twitter for her latest journo rants.

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