The immigration cosh has begun to be struck at migrant aimed solely at bringing down numbers at any cost. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has been asked to consider the economic impact of Tier 2 on salary and more widely to consider restrictions. The first of these has a short deadline of 21/07/2015. The wider review will have until December 2015 to respond.
The task of this Committee is to consider whether salaries and skill levels should be raised. MAC have invited evidence on a number of issues. I am reproducing the questions asked:
1. How do the existing salary thresholds for Tier 2 compare to, and impact on, the overall wage distribution for each occupation?
2. What types of jobs and occupations are done by highly-specialised and/or highly-skilled experts, and is pay a good proxy for this high level of specialisation or skill?
3. What would be the impact of increasing the thresholds to a level that better aligns with the salaries of highly-specialised and/or highly-skilled experts?
4. What would be the impact of increasing the thresholds to a level that restricts the route to occupations which are experiencing skills shortages skilled to NQF level 6 or higher?
5. What would be the impact of increasing the Tier 2 minimum thresholds from the 10th to the 25th percentile for each occupation for new entrant workers?
6. What would be the impact of increasing the Tier 2 minimum thresholds from the 25th to the 50th or 75th percentiles for each occupation for experienced workers?
7. As an employer, what would be the impact of increasing the Tier 2 minimum thresholds on: a) hiring migrant workers from outside the EU; b) hiring migrant workers from within the EU; c) hiring natives.
8. Are there additional national pay scales or sources of salary data that should be used to set the thresholds?
9. What other appropriate measures would you like to see for determining the minimum salary thresholds?
10. Should the minimum salary threshold take account of variations in regional pay? If so, how?
Two industries in particular will suffer most from the changes. The health care and hospitality industries which have seen a sharp reduction in the available jobs and steep rise in salaries.
Of these the hospitality industry has (just about) managed to, retain its ability to bring a limited number of chefs under the shortage occupation list who would otherwise not qualify as they are not graduate level positions.
Looking at numbers in fact only 1,400 of the total of 52,500 Certificates issued abroad are from the shortage occupation list and 14,200 are from carrying out advertising requirements. Compare this to 36,500 Certificates issued for Intra company transferees. It is quite clear that the numbers coming in for care homes and restaurants are small. However multi nationals have the means to lobby for their interests and do so effectively.
As for nurses, there is an acute shortage and this is causing a crisis within which will inly become apparent when it reaches critical levels.
These common themes for both these industries are that they are disparate and lack a voice. It is vital that groups band together to give evidence before MAC on these very important issues. Failure to do so may be fatal.