Tier 2 immigration to the UK or working visa levels still capped at 20,700
Real block on employers recruiting migrant workers is NQF 6 graduate level requirement
Glory days when a NVQ in Health and Social Care Tier 4 student could switch to Tier 2 as a Senior Care Worker have gone
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the government appointed QUANGO responsible for reporting on the impact of immigration to the UK, in particular working visas for the UK, has published its latest costly report on the list of occupations skilled at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 6 and above.
MAC has also released a review of the Tier 2 codes of practice, commissioned by the Immigration Minister in April, which regulates the labour market by testing minimum pay requirements.
Tier 2 of the Points Based System in theory enables companies registered by the UK Border Agency as Sponsors to bring in skilled migrants to fill graduate-level vacancies.
Chefs and Care Workers can forget Tier 2
However, the job or occupation must appear on the ever shrinking shortage occupations list and the employer should demonstrate that it cannot fill the vacancy from the British or European Economic Area (EEA) workforce. In addition, the migrant worker cannot undercut the pay of equivalent resident workers. Other than that, it’s very straightforward.
Occupations listed at level NQF level 6 include HR managers (like, we really need more of them) and directors, health service and public health managers and directors, and scientists.
Businesses who need real WORKERS such as Chefs, Care Workers or catering staff can forget Tier 2. Most have turned to applicants from Eastern Europe – Poland, Romania and Bulgaria – to fill vacancies, which let’s face it still exist for jobs British workers do not want to do, or cannot ‘afford’ to do without losing their benefits.
Home Secretary Theresa May is said to be considering reforms to ‘free movement’ of EU workers and imposing restrictions on the European Union’s free movement of workers, including access to the UK for dependants of EU citizens.
Despite being European Union citizens, Bulgarians and Romanians are already restricted from employment and not have the same rights to work as the earlier EU accession countries such as Poland and Latvia.
Romanian and Bulgarian Students taking vocational or sandwich courses, such as NVQ in Health and Social Care, can work full time, as stated on their Yellow Cards.
Jobs still available in London
Major employers such as Macdonalds and Pret A Manger are constantly advertising for staff – see below.
Pret pays staff at least £7.25 per hour in London, well above the minimum wage, which according to their website is ‘as much as we can afford’. Many of their staff earn over £8 per hour and managers receive £36,000pa.
Britain’s biggest private employer, Tesco’s, were recently found to be recruiting staff in Slovakia and were even caught employing illegal workers – well, ‘every little helps’ as they say!
MAC Chairman, Professor David Metcalf, CBE, said:
“Tier 2 (General) of the immigration Points Based System exists so that firms and other organisations can bring in skilled migrants to fill graduate-level vacancies.
“But there are stringent conditions attached. First, unless the job or occupation is on the shortage occupation list, the firm must initially seek to fill its vacancy from the British or EEA workforce. Second, the immigrant must not undercut the pay of equivalent resident workers.”
What does this mean for the average migrant worker or Tier 4 student visa holder? Not a lot!
Tier 2 immigration levels are capped at 20,700, but the real block on employers recruiting migrant workers is the requirement that the job post and salary be at management NQF level 6 – graduate or Degree level.
In other words, unless you are applying for a job at fairly senior management level you will not get a Tier work permit or working visa.
The days when a Tier 4 student doing an NVQ in Health and Social Care could switch into Tier 2 as a Senior Care Worker have, unfortunately, long gone.
For the foreseeable future at least, we are unlikely to see a return to huge managed migration enjoyed under the Blair Labour government. Gary Glitter has more chance of making a comeback than mass UK work-based immigration!
Working visas and immigration to the UK is getting more difficult each day, which is why many student graduates are now taking their skills to countries like Canada, which has a more open immigration system and prefers real workers to HR managers.
Read the boring full 140 page report.
Looking for a job in London? See Pret A Manger’s job vacancies section of their website.
If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR, Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a UK Border Agency or British Embassy refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email:
Majestic College offer special packages for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.
For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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