UK government has been urged by the director of Universities UK International, Vivienne Stern, to reduce the proposed salary that all European Economic Area (EEA) workers must earn in order to be able to get a high-skilled work visa.
A proposal that was earlier submitted by Migration Advisory Committee on behalf of the UK government includes a salary threshold of £30,000 for all skilled migrants after March 29, when UK is expected to leave the EU – post-Brexit. This is the level preferred by Prime Minister Theresa May because she sees it as imperative to achieving her lower immigration aim.
Though the aim of reducing immigration is a welcome goal for the majority in the UK, nevertheless a salary threshold of £30,000 is considered to be outrageous and would result in staff recruitments problems that will ultimately have adverse effects on key services like National Health Service.
If things go as planned, the proposal is expected to be implemented by the start of 2021 immediately after the post-Brexit transition period.
High Skill Occupations not Always the Best Paid
Since the proposal was made public, Universities UK has not shied away from voicing its views on behalf of its members. The association does not support the new salary threshold stating that high skill occupations are not always the best-paid jobs.
The median salary threshold for language assistant roles as well as production, science and engineering technicians is significantly below the proposed threshold of £30,000, Universities UK revealed. If enforced, assessing skills will be challenging. Stern emphasized that it is essential to ensure that an attempt to check migration does not affect the talents pool of the country. She said the Home Secretary understands that the threshold will be harmful to a number of sectors. Universities in the UK want the threshold reduced to £21,000.
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