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‘Fewer roles’ for foreign workers

‘Fewer roles’ for foreign workers

The range of jobs available to foreign workers from outside the EU will be slashed by more than a third under Government plans, a report has revealed.

The Government is planning to raise the threshold for skilled worker visas to "graduate level" jobs in a bid to reduce immigration from an estimated 200,000 to the tens of thousands within the next four years. The number of qualifying occupations will fall from 192 to 121.

Skilled workers from countries outside the EU will no longer be able to come into the UK for jobs such as hairdressers, estate agents and beauty salon managers, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) said.

However financial analysts, nurses, teachers and civil engineers will still qualify.

Professor David Metcalf, Mac chairman, said: "Skilled foreign workers make a valuable contribution to the British economy but, in the context of limits on migration, it is essential that the immigration system is designed to select those migrants we need the most.

"We have recognised this by ensuring our recommendations will allow the most skilled to continue to come and work here."

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: "This is a valuable contribution to ensuring that the immigration system allows firms to bring in people with necessary skills without immigration becoming the first resort to fill a wide range of available jobs.

"As part of our package for limiting non-EU economic migration we are raising the minimum skill level at which people can come to work in the UK under tier two.

"We asked the Migration Advisory Committee to advise the Government on graduate level occupations to ensure that only those who are able to fill skilled jobs can come to the UK."

The Mac, which advises the Government on migration issues, was asked to define "graduate level" by using the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level four and above as the benchmark.

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