The government has announced a raft of new measures which, it argues, will “ensure that resident workers .. have every opportunity to fill vacancies before they are offered to workers abroad”.

This decision follows recommendations made last month by the Migration Advisory Committee to tighten up the rules controlling when skilled workers are allowed to take jobs in the UK under the government's points-based system.

The upshot of the changes means that from next year, all jobs must be advertised in Jobcentre Plus offices for four weeks (instead of two) before companies can seek to employ individuals from outside Europe. 

The government will also extend the qualifying period for overseas workers who want to transfer to work at their company's UK base. This will mean that they will need to have worked for their firm for at least a year - rather than six months as at present - before they can transfer here.

Additionally, the minimum salary that will allow an individual to qualify as a skilled worker and be eligible to work in the UK will rise from £17,000 to £20,000.

A total of 16 recommendations were put forward by the Migration Advisory Committee, all of which will now be put in place to ensure that the existing points-based system "does more to support United Kingdom workers while continuing to facilitate the trade, travel, and study that benefits the United Kingdom”.

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