NIACE responds to Migration Advisory Committee Report Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 17:21

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Following the publication of today's report from the Migration Advisory Committee NIACE is urging employers to invest more in training their workforce, particularly those from settled communities.

The report, which highlights that Tier 1 and Tier 2 migrants - play a small but significant part in the provision of education, health and social services - also mentions how Tier 1 and 2 migrants are often employed in the provision of public services and are likely to have good English language skills. Furthermore, there is no evidence that foreign born migrants are directly displacing resident workers.

The Committee suggests that it is possible that the economy will adjust in response to a reduced supply of migrants. Employers will have stronger incentives to train UK workers. NIACE is keen to encourage the Government to ensure this is the case, by introducing sufficient ‘carrots and sticks' to ensure employers do support and fund training for their workforce.

Chris Taylor, NIACE Programme Director said:

"The Migration Advisory Committee report highlights the need for UK employers to take responsibility for the training and up-skilling of all their employees. There are many refugees and individuals from settled communities in the UK who are unemployed or under-employed. Offering this section of the adult workforce appropriate training to fulfill their potential in the UK should be an absolute priority for both Government and industry."

The report, from the Migration Advisory Committee, details how immigration plays an important role in supporting the UK economy but recommends that the earnings thresholds for gaining points should be raised, jobs should be advertised within the UK for longer and the arrangements for intra-company transfers should be strengthened. Strong monitoring and enforcement is required.

In June 2010, the Home Secretary commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to advise on the level at which 'limits on Tier 1 and Tier 2 of the points-based system be set for their first year of operation in 2011/12 in order to contribute to achieving the government's aim of reducing net migration to an annual level of tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament'.

Julia Onslow-Cole, Patner and Head of Global Immigration, PwC Legal LLP, said:

"One positive outcome of the debate on economic migration is that employers have been willing to articulate how much they value their migrant workers and have shown a readiness to support and fund training for this part of the UK workforce."