BOSSES are today warned they must do more to employ UK-based workers as ministers unveil the biggest border shake up in 50 years.
The Home Secretary on Tuesday night declared low skilled immigration will come to a dramatic end in just ten months time on January 1, 2021 when free movement from the EU halts.
Priti Patel published for the first time the full details of the new post-Brexit points-based system that will replace cheap labour from Europe.
Signalling the need for better pay and conditions, the Home Office insisted: “Employers will need to adjust.
“It is important that employers move away from a reliance on the immigration system as an alternative to investment in staff retention, productivity, and wider investment in technology and automation”.
Ministers are confident that their tough crackdown on low skilled immigration will see Boris Johnson’s election promise to reduce the overall number of incomers fulfilled.
CAPS COULD COME BACK
But The Sun has learned that if that fails, they will reintroduce annual caps on the number of skilled workers coming in.
A government source said: “We will cap overall numbers if we really have to.”
In the biggest change of all, there will be no route into the country for low skilled workers.
Skilled workers will be able to come if they are able to tot up at least 70 points, accrued via the level of salary they are offered and their abilities.
But a job offer and the ability to speak English will be mandatory for all of them.
While most will be expected to earn a minimum of £23,040 a year, some such as lab technicians with prized skills will be able to come in with a salary as low as £20,480.
The definition of skilled workers is to be downgraded to mean anyone who has an A level-style qualification, instead of degree level now – meaning plasterers and bricklayers could qualify for working visas.
But hospitality workers will be excluded.
There will also be special exemptions for pinch trades where there are shortages, such as doctors and nurses.
Highly skilled workers, such top academics and scientists, will be able to come in without a job offer if they are endorsed by a top institution.
BOSSES PUSH BACK
Ms Patel said: “It is right that people should speak English before they come to our country, that they should have a sponsored route, whether it’s through employment or a sponsored route through an academic institution”.
Business bosses warned the crackdown could leave some firms struggling.
BCC Director General Adam Marshall said: “The speed and scale of these changes will require significant adjustment by businesses.
“Companies are already investing heavily in home-grown talent across the UK, but critical labour shortages mean firms will still need access to overseas workers at all skill levels.”
Immigration campaigners also sounded the alarm, and warned ministers the plan will not control numbers.
The Sun Says
WE cautiously welcome Priti Patel’s commonsense plan for immigration.
Freed from the shackles of the EU, the UK will take control of our borders with an Australian-style, points-based system, the details of which she unveiled on Tuesday.
We agree with swapping an open door to unlimited numbers of unskilled EU workers for a controlled flow of the brightest and best from across the globe — including the EU.
And the Government is quite right to warn company bosses they must “do more” to employ UK-based workers.
It’s simply not fair that Brits have been squeezed out of jobs by big companies taking advantage of cheap foreign labour, and the imbalance has rankled with voters for decades.
But there’s a fly in the ointment.
Will this plan do much to bring down the overall immigration numbers as the Tories have long promised?
BEEBFLIX200,000 homes ditch BBC TV licences as No10 'plans Netflix-style subscription'
FREE FROM FEESBBC licence fee 'set to be scrapped and replaced with subscription service'
BOJO DIVORCEBoris & wife Marine Wheeler agree divorce settlement 2 years after split
QUEEN MEGLabour hopeful Lisa Nandy wants Meghan Markle as QUEEN but would scrap monarchy
RACE ROWWho is Andrew Sabisky and what are his views on eugenics?
sick postsShamed 'racist' adviser defended rape fantasy and claimed wives should obey men
Migration Watch UK Chairman Alp Mehmet said: “These proposals suggest that the government is not serious about taking control of immigration.
“Not only will millions of UK workers see their jobs opened up to new or greater competition from overseas workers in much poorer countries but employers will no longer have to look to find anyone at home before searching abroad.
“With no cap on numbers coming via the main route from the outset, this is a massive risk that will alarm the 30 million people who were expecting this government finally to deliver on their long-standing promises to reduce immigration and show belief in young Brits, rather than giving in to the demands of bosses.”