Employers are concerned the government’s points-based immigration proposals may not meet the needs of business.
As the government closed its 16-week consultation on a five-tier grading system for migrant workers, employers warned that the scheme was already in need of reform before its implementation next spring.
“The government needs to clarify certain aspects and prove that it understands the needs of business,” said the CBI’s director of HR policy, Susan Anderson. “The current system is overly complex and the government must show that it can effectively police [any reforms].”
John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said: “The new proposals need to be less cumbersome and operate in a more flexible way to make them easier to use.”
There are also concerns that the system focuses too much on the top two tiers, who will be permitted to settle in the UK after five years and bring their families with them, but discriminates against those with more elementary skills.
The Recruitment and Employment Confedera-tion’s director of external affairs, Tom Hadley, said: “There’s still a high demand for unskilled workers in the UK, but the consultation only really focuses on skilled labour. Unskilled workers are being overlooked.”
The five tiers:
- Accepted Tier 1: Highly-skilled workers, investors and entrepreneurs.
- Accepted Tier 2: Workers filling skills shortages, skilled workers with job offers and specific roles that require overseas work.
- Rejected Tier 3: Unskilled staff.
- Rejected Tier 4: Students.
- Rejected Tier 5: Working visitors.
Accepted – Allowed to stay after five years
Rejected – Not allowed to stay