Tuesday, May 6, 2008

British firms will have to prove they cannot find skilled workers from the European Economic Area before looking elsewhere for immigrants

Outlining plans, the Home Office said bosses would not be able to fill posts before advertising first in Britain. The points-based guidelines for skilled workers also say most will need a job offer before coming to the country. The government says the rules would have reduced skilled migrants last year from outside the EEA (the EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) by 12%. Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said: "Our new points system means that British job seekers get the first crack of the whip and that only the skilled migrants we actually need will be able to come." The Home Office says that in the 12 months to last September, 65,000 skilled workers from outside the EEA were allowed in, but under the new rules there would have been almost 8,000 fewer. But Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said: "The government's claim that their new points-based system will result in lower levels of immigration is pure spin. "The scheme has no limits and, in fact, will probably result in even higher levels of immigration."

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