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UK employers urge revision of post-Brexit immigration reform

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he new U.K. government must relax planned immigration reforms after Brexit, a coalition of trade, business and educational enterprises have said.

In a letter to the future U.K. prime minister addressed to both candidates, front-runner Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, as well as Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Business Secretary Greg Clark, the so-called #FullStrength campaign says British employers fear labor and skills shortages caused by Brexit would be made worse under the new post-Brexit immigration system, set out by the government in a white paper last year.

t is crucial that this system recognises the benefits of international talent whilst ensuring the right controls are in place for managing immigration more effectively — necessary for ensuring the public’s trust,” the letter states.

The group, which includes the British Retail Consortium, techUK, Universities UK, London First, and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, among others, calls on Downing Street to lower the planned salary threshold for foreign workers wanting to work in the U.K. from £30,000 to £20,000 “so that it is in line with the proposed skills threshold and the labour market.”

The group also calls on the government to “keep the U.K. open to talent at all levels” by extending temporary work visas from one to two years, reducing the cost of sponsoring foreign workers, retaining a two-year post-study work visa for international students, and creating a “fast-track system to meet labour needs in all skills categories where there are critical shortages in fast growing and long-term growth areas.”


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