Brexit and Immigration The Story so Far Image

Brexit and Immigration – the story so far!

“Sajid Javid, the Chancellor, issued a separate warning to businesses to drop their demands for the UK to stay closely tied to the EU after Brexit, saying that firms had had three years to prepare for Brexit”
Britain’s exit from the European Community on the 31 January 2020, will see the Government plans to introduce even more complicated system to the current “Tier Lead UK Point Based System introduced some 15 years ago, to one which hopes to be similar to the Australia-style points-based immigration system. However, the intended scheme is likely to prevent “lower-skilled” immigration workers from moving to the UK unless there is a “specific shortage” of staff in their sector, such as construction.

Brexit and Immigration Impact

The first Brexit impact on immigration will be that, the Government intends to allow, possible short term stay in the UK with a new proposal of a “time-limited route for temporary short-term workers” to come to the UK, amounting to two years in total. Such is the impact of this proposal, that it will lead to another Brexit immigration shake-up by two years – removing a temporary extension of the current rules until 2023, that had been demanded by business groups and promised by Theresa May in 2018.

The second Brexit impact on immigration will be that, the Government intends on replacing the current entry rights for low-skilled workers, with quotas for specific sectors, such as the construction industry.

The third Brexit impact on immigration will be that, the Government intends to see a reduction in the number of unskilled workers and those without a job entering the UK coming to an end when the transition period ends in December 2019, while driving the influx for talented and skilled workers from around the world to come to the UK.

Immigration and lower skilled workers

Over the next 2 years following Brexit, immigration relating to lower skilled workers will result in replacing the current entry rights for low-skilled workers with quotas for specific sectors. For example; the construction industry. This will allow the government to streamline the way “our Immigration System Works for the United Kingdom”. Perhaps through the Youth Mobility Scheme or Work Permit route for Lower Skilled workers.

Brexit and Youth Mobility Scheme offered to EU Countries
A possible extension to the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) offered to EU countries—a scheme which currently allows citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and a few other countries to take work in jobs at any skill level;
  • Limiting entry for 2 years only
  • Only from ages of 18- 30 similar to the current Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS)
Allowing reliance on workers in this age bracket varies by industry, with some (e.g. hospitality) relying more heavily on young workers than others (e.g. construction), and further changing migrant population living in the UK would be quite different under YMS vs. free movement, mostly likely involving smaller and less ‘settled’ population with lower levels of integration via the YMS:-
  • Free movement will come to an end in 2021 and so this route will no longer exist, raising the question what—if anything—will replace it;
  • Some new form labour migration permitting low-skilled work will be introduced
Work-permit programmes for low-skilled jobs

Work-permit programmes, on the other hand, operate very differently from YMS. They can be designed in many different ways, but usually involve relatively detailed regulation of the types of jobs that are eligible and the conditions of work.

The major policy rationale for using a work-permit scheme rather than an open-ended route like youth mobility is this ability to regulate the work:

  • Work-permit schemes now called Tier 2 General, is possible only where the employer holds a Sponsor Licence and ensure that they offer sponsorship only to highly skilled migrant workers to specific jobs.
  • Unless the doors are opened to allow the labour supply in just a few areas of the labour market, such as agriculture or perhaps social care, for example, there appears to be no other alternative. If so, it can use work permits to target those positions without opening the rest of the low-wage labour market to labour migration, perhaps this is the best way forward;

The government can use work-permit schemes to require employers to offer more favourable conditions to workers than might otherwise be available in those jobs under normal employment laws (e.g. higher wages or benefits).

There is no single definition of the skill level a job requires, and different analyses classify skill levels in different ways. The main two ways of classifying high-skilled vs. low or middle-skilled work are based on (1) the amount of training an occupation generally requires and (2) how much workers in the occupation generally earn.

Brexit impacts UK Lower Skilled Workers

The Migration Observatory reported recently that in 2017, an estimated 500,000 people born in EU countries were employed in the UK in low-wage jobs such as cleaning, waiting tables, warehousing and food processing. Brexit will now see to it that free movement will end in 2021, will the UK see a “shortage of lower skilled workers”? Will this encourage better training for lower paid UK worker

The Social Mobility Commission’s Report published on the 12 January 2020 titled

“The adult skill gap: is falling investment in UK Adults stalling youth mobility?”

The report highlighted that the UK spends little on vocational skills and investment in labour market support to increase adult skill levels.

  • In 2017, more women than men under took training (26% verses 21%) additionally more people from the Black ethnic backgrounds than white backgrounds (32% compared to 23%) and more younger than older people (25% of people of 25 to 29 year olds compared to 17% of people of 60 to 64 years old);
  • That the Public Sector was more likely to provide training that the Private Sector (2017 36% from the public sector workers participated in training compared to 19% in the private sector).

Maybe we will see new Government lead “Adult Lower Skilled Training Bodies”; setup with taxpayers funding to monitor and invest back into Public Sector Workers? We will have to wait and see the “Benefits of Brexit”!

Brexit could be the reason why the “Habitual residence test for UK Benefits” will see an end to fake, unethical claims. However it may have a negative impact on genuine taxpayers needs if a blanket approach is adopted.

If you are a EU Citizen in the UK requiring urgent advice and settled or settling registration call now +44(0)1634 828 288 or email us: info@immigrationstatus.co.uk.

Protect your EU Citizen rights now!

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