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MAC: Lower salary threshold for immigrant workers

by Kyle Molyneux  |  Tue 28 Jan 2020

MAC: Lower salary threshold for immigrant workers

The UK’s Migration Advisory Committee has advised the government to lower the salary threshold for immigrants from the current £30,000 to £25,600, in order to boost recruitment including in the construction industry.

Commenting on the Migration Advisory Committee’s report, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said, “Construction workers of all skill levels from labourers to site managers will be needed to deliver the Government’s ambitious housing and infrastructure targets. While there is much more to do to train up our domestic workforce, skill shortages and an ageing demographic will mean the construction sector will still need access to workers from outside the UK.

“Salary is not always a true reflection of skill, so it is very welcome that the Migration Advisory Committee has recommended that the salary threshold be reduced to £25,600,” Berry continued. “More than half of FMB members said that a £30,000 salary was higher than what they would typically pay, so it’s good that these proposals now reflect reality. It is also encouraging that the MAC has recommended that 'medium-skilled' roles such as carpenters and painters should be eligible for skilled visas.

“The temporary visa route remains a concern, however,” Berry continued. “This route will need to have a path to permanent settlement otherwise many workers will simply choose to work elsewhere. The Government should consider giving temporary migrants the opportunity to complete training and settle on a skilled visa while remaining in the UK.”

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