New Plan for Immigration will fix our broken asylum system
A year ago today, we launched the points-based immigration system and opened the Skilled Worker Visa, marking the UK’s biggest shift in immigration policy in recent history.
One year later, our points-based immigration system is attracting the best talent in the world while encouraging businesses to invest in the British workforce.
We have welcomed tens of thousands of people, including scientists, plumbers, chefs, doctors, nurses, engineers, architects, butchers and senior care workers. This diversity in business brings a huge variety of experience and knowledge, helping to boost performance, increase productivity, bring a unique cultural outlook and complement the skills and knowledge of staff.
We have also been working hard to ensure businesses both large and small understand how the points-based immigration system benefits them, with over 300 events involving more than 31,000 stakeholders taking place since March 2020.
What is happening in the Channel with small boats is unsafe, unfair, and unacceptable
We know our immigration system must complement the talent we already have in the UK. Hence our points-based immigration system encourages businesses to invest in their UK workforces. It is boosting wages and making businesses offer more development and progression to open-up opportunities for their employees, helping create a high-wage, high-skilled economy right across the country.
This is on top of government initiatives such as the Plan for Jobs, Kickstart scheme and the Lifetime Skills Guarantee which will help more British people secure a great job, while ensuring businesses have access to the workforce they need.
The Plan for Jobs has delivered with unemployment falling and the number of employees on payrolls back above pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile the government’s Kickstart Scheme is helping young people develop skills, confidence and experience to support them into long-term sustainable employment, with over 100,000 now in work. In short, immigration policy must be part of, not an alternative to, our strategy for the UK Labour Market.
At the same time, we recognise there are jobs where we need the expertise and skills of people from around the world and brilliantly talented people who want to make the UK their home.
In Spring 2022, more visa routes will open, including the Scale-Up, High Potential Individual and Global Business Mobility routes. These will provide more opportunities for businesses to recruit leading people in their fields and encourage brilliant innovators and entrepreneurs to open enterprises in the UK – supporting British jobs, contributing to the economy and improving the UK’s standing on the world stage.
However, despite what we have already delivered, we must be clear about the long-standing problem we still face when it comes to illegal migration. What is happening in the Channel with small boats is unsafe, unfair, and unacceptable. The events of last week are a devastating reminder of this.
Only our New Plan for Immigration, currently making its way through Parliament, will reduce the long-term pull factors in our broken asylum system and break the business model of criminal trafficking networks, ensuring the UK government has full control of both the legal and illegal immigration system.
Kevin Foster is the Conservative MP for Torbay and the minister for safe and legal migration.
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