UK to continue admitting highly skilled migrants

The
UK is to let 5,000 extra foreign farm workers into the country and will
continue to admit highly skilled migrants under plans announced by the Home
Secretary and Chancellor.

The
measures come as part of the Pre-Budget Report and build on the success of the
Government’s drive to modernise and increase the economic migration routes into
the UK.

The
move will allow UK businesses to bring in the skills and people they need to
compete in the global economy.

Home
Secretary David Blunkett announced that:

nearly
5,000 extra foreign workers will be able to work on UK farms, doing a bigger
range of farm work, under an expanded Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme
(SAWS)

the
UK’s flagship Highly Skilled Migrant Programme – which in nine months has
brought in nearly 1,000 of the world’s best ‘brains’ – will be extended
indefinitely following the end of its current pilot, and entry criteria updated

a
new small business unit will be set up within Work Permits UK to ensure that
all sizes and types of business have the information they need about work
permits to help them recruit easily from abroad

the
Government will continue to work with industry to identify areas with labour or
skills shortages

Blunkett
said: "Migrants have an enormous amount to offer our economy and our
society. They help with recruitment difficulties and bring new innovations,
enterprises and capital to the UK. If we can harness the vitality, skills and
energy of migrants we can stimulate productivity, economic growth and job
creation."

By Quentin Reade

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