Skilled jobs must be advertised through Jobcentre Plus for at least four weeks

Employers will have to advertise skilled jobs through Jobcentre Plus for a minimum of four weeks before advertising to non-EU nationals from 14 December, the government has announced.

The extension, from the existing requirement to advertise jobs locally for two weeks, was proposed by the Migration Advisory Committee in its Tier 2 report, published in August. The government accepted the committee’s recommendations in September.

The change will apply to advertising campaigns that start on or after 14 December. Employers that have already run ads will not need to re-advertise to meet the new requirement.

Phil Woolas, borders and immigration minister, said: “This change will give UK workers an even better chance and more time to apply for skilled vacancies that might otherwise go to migrant workers.

“It will ensure that businesses can recruit the skilled foreign workers that the economy needs, but not at the expense of British workers, nor as a cheaper alternative to investing in the skills of the existing workforce.”

Other changes to the Tier 2 system, including extending the qualifying period for all those overseas workers who want to transfer to work at their company’s UK base from six to 12 months, will be implemented next spring.

The Home Office estimates that one in 10 of the non-EU workers given permits last year would have been excluded under the new rules.

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