News story

Highly skilled work for highly skilled migrants

Research out today looks at jobs being done by people in the UK with highly skilled work visas.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The UK Border Agency study reveals that around a third of the 1,184 people sampled are actually employed in lower skilled jobs such as shop assistants and supermarket cashiers.

Brightest and best

Damian Green said: ‘While it is important that low skilled jobs are filled, there are hundreds of thousands of British people who could be doing them instead of a migrant. 
‘Those coming into the UK under the highly skilled migrant route should only be able to do highly skilled jobs - it should not be used as a means to enter the low skilled jobs market.
‘Investors and entrepreneurs aside, this report questions the value of this route into the UK and the findings will play a key part in discussions on how the annual limit will be shaped.’

Visas in the highly skilled category (or Tier 1) are issued to applicants who meet the correct criteria. Factors such as qualifications, previous earnings and age are taken into account.

Unlike those who come into the UK under Tier 2 of the Points Based System, highly skilled workers do not need a job offer before they arrive in the UK.

New permanent limit

The report’s findings come in advance of the Government’s announcement on the new permanent annual limit arrangements, including who will be included in the limit and at what level it will be set.

Published 27 October 2010