How migration policy should change after Brexit

Thankfully migration hasn’t become a major issue in the current election (at least not overtly). Nonetheless it remains as an important issue in UK politics and intersects with Brexit in a variety of way.

I’ve just published a new post on the Institute of Student Employers blog where I look at employers perspectives on post-Brexit migration policy. Essentially it suggests that employers are worried about the consequences of Brexit. They are concerned that a sudden stop to European migration will lead to recruitment problems and may leave businesses unable to find the people and skills that they need.

The blog is particularly focused on the issue of entry level staff and early careers. Employers are concerned that any replacements system for managing migration might ignore this group and essentially count out young people through the blunt use of points systems and salary thresholds. In general they would like to see more permissive, flexible and locally responsive forms of migration policy that take account of local, sectoral and occupational differences.

So this is what I wrote…

Brexit is going to change a lot of things in the UK economy and one of the most obvious areas will be migration policy. Indeed, many people have argued that a desire for changes to migration was an important factor in driving a leave vote. Many UK businesses are dependent on EU migrants to fill a wide range of roles. So how is the UK going to manage these changes without a crisis in skills and labour?

The government has tasked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to come up with a way forward on migration policy. The main idea is to move from an ‘employer-driven’ work-visa system (where people can’t come in unless they have a job) to an ‘Australian points based system’ (where people can come in without a job as long as they meet certain criteria). 

The problem is that ‘points based systems’ can work in a lot of different ways, which is why we ran a consultation with members in September and October to make sure that we could have our say and input to the MACs national consultation. 

Read on…

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