Overview and Implications –
On 15th January 2018, the UK Home Affairs Select Committee published its Immigration Report, titled “Immigration policy: basis for building consensus” (full report here).
This is a positive news for the Indian IT Industry – the report captures several recommendations in sync with NASSCOM’s position on post-Brexit immigration policy; including favourable treatment for skilled immigrants. The Report is one more voice to the growing UK Parliamentary support for a more nuanced and flexible immigration policy that takes into account the skills mix of the immigrants. This is an area NASSCOM has long advocated for, and submitted factual evidence; both to the UK Home Affairs Committee and also the UK Migration Advisory Committee (in October 2017, in response to their call for evidence). NASSCOM will continue outreach efforts with key UK Government and business stakeholders, including Yvette Cooper, the Home Affairs Committee Chair.
Key Messages from the Report –
- Stronger coordination between immigration and skills/ labour market policies, including differentiated treatment for highly skilled migrants. The report recommends immigration rules allow UK businesses to “easily attract top talent” and for restrictions and controls to focus more on low-skilled migration
- Immigration policy be linked to investment in domestic skills and training: For example, on computing skills, it states that work permits awarded should be linked to commitments to training local workers
- Avoid a “one size fits all” policy: All forms of immigration should not be treated similarly. UK Government should replace its net migration target with an evidence-based framework for different types of immigration that takes into account the needs of the UK economy, as well as international obligations arising from both trade and humanitarian agreement
- Annual Migration statistics/ report by the UK Government: that would detail previous year’s migration flows, their economic contributions and measures taken by the Government to manage impacts and pressures. Such a report would help build consensus on the economic benefits of immigration and build trust in the system among the public