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Points based immigration needs refinement - NFB

National Federation of Builders

2 min read Partner content

Home Secretary, Priti Patel has launched a new points-based immigration system which is set to take effect on 1 January 2021, marking the end of free movement.


The salary threshold will be set at £25,600 and applicants will need to meet a number of relevant criteria in order to be eligible for a visa. Applicants will need to accrue 70 points in total, with points being awarded based on different criteria such as securing a job offer, speaking English and holding certain qualifications. Additionally, points could be awarded if there is a shortage in a particular occupation.

However, there will be no temporary or general visa options for low-skilled migrants and it has been estimated that 70% of the existing EU workforce will not meet the requirements of the skilled worker routes.  This poses a serious threat to many industries and it is clear that the Government has failed to take into account that this new system could have an adverse impact on the economy.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), said: “The Government has not understood the complexities of training and employing new staff. In construction, it takes a minimum of four years to train a skilled worker and ensure they have the expertise to do the job. This is why, since the referendum, we’ve recommended a construction specific visa, in operation until a pipeline of skilled workers begins coming through.

There are also serious concerns about the lack of detail relating to self-employment. In construction, almost half of workers are self-employed, yet most construction related roles are not on the shortage occupation list. We’re grateful to now understand what a points based system means but serious refinement is required to not harm the UK’s economy.”

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