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18th September 2018

EEA Migration

The independent Migration Advisory Committee has published its final report on EEA Migration in the UK.

As far as the labour market is concerned, the committee found that migration has no or little impact on the overall employment and unemployment outcomes of the UK born workforce and, in terms of wages, that it is not a major determinant of the wages of UK born workers.

Other sections in the report consider the impact of EEA migration on:

  • Productivity, innovation, investment and training
  • Consumer and house prices
  • Public finances and public funding
  • Public services: healthcare, social care, education and social housing
  • Community: crime and well-being

 

The committee makes 14 policy recommendations:

  1. General principle behind migration policy changes should be to make it easier for higher-skilled workers to migrate to the UK than lower-skilled workers.
  2. No preference for EU citizens, on the assumption UK immigration policy not included in agreement with EU.
  3. Abolish the cap on the number of migrants under Tier 2 (General).
  4. Tier 2 (General) to be open to all jobs at RQF3 and above. Shortage Occupation List will be fully reviewed in our next report in response to the SOL Commission.
  5. Maintain existing salary thresholds for all migrants in Tier 2.
  6. Retain but review the Immigration Skills Charge.
  7. Consider abolition of the Resident Labour Market Test. If not abolished, extend the numbers of migrants who are exempt through lowering the salary required for exemption.
  8. Review how the current sponsor licensing system works for small and medium-sized businesses.
  9. Consult more systematically with users of the visa system to ensure it works as smoothly as possible.
  10. For lower-skilled workers avoid Sector-Based Schemes (with the potential exception of a Seasonal Agricultural Workers scheme)
  11. If a SAWS scheme is reintroduced, ensure upward pressure on wages via an agricultural minimum wage to encourage increases in productivity.
  12. If a “backstop” is considered necessary to fill low-skilled roles extend the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme.
  13. Monitor and evaluate the impact of migration policies.
  14. Pay more attention to managing the consequences of migration at a local level.

The report has received substantial media coverage, including this from the BBC.

The full report is available on GOV.UK.