Two-year freeze on annual limit for non-EU workers allows employers to plan for a sustainable future

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News that the Government is to freeze rather than reduce the current annual limit for non-EU workers for the next two years and lower a key salary requirement will help employers recruit key skilled workers and increase the chances of export-led growth.

This is the view of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), whose evidence has consistently shown that some employers still need non-EU workers to fill highly skilled positions – such as senior engineering and IT roles – with experienced people, despite the current poor state of the UK jobs market.  Our research also shows that employers hire non-EU workers for the knowledge they bring of their home market, which an increasing number of firms are turning towards to help drive growth.  The announcement also comes during a month when the post-study worker route, which allows employers to recruit foreign students studying in the UK, is due to be closed – which will effectively cut the number of visas available to non-EU workers by 25%.  CIPD employers say that they are more likely to hire these same foreign students via other routes of the points-based system than hire more UK workers or graduates.

The CIPD has argued for and supports today’s announcement from the Home Office to maintain the current Tier 2 visa annual limit of 20, 700 for skilled non-EU workers and to remove the requirement for organisations to advertise vacancies for highly skilled roles in JobCentre Plus as part of the Resident Labour Market Test.

Gerwyn Davies, CIPD Public Policy Adviser, comments: “Many employers will respond to today’s news with a large sigh of relief.  Frequent changes to immigration policy, that have often made with little notice or publicity, and a growing number of restrictions have caused some concern and frustration among some employers in their attempt to build a productive and growth-driven workplace.  However, today’s announcement offers a very robust response to earlier calls from the CIPD for greater stability, simplicity and signposting from the points-based system.   Employers require certainty and access to talent to help drive growth within their organisations, and today’s announcement delivers on both counts”.

Source: CIPD website

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