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UK announces new points-based immigration system

By Hazel Davis

Industrial Strategy Council says UK faces unprecedented and growing skills challenge

The UK government has announced its new points system to transform the border and immigration system.

The system will come into place on January 1, 2021, when free movement will end after Brexit.

Under the new plans, low-skilled workers will not get visas. The moves, the government says, are a measure to encourage employers to move away from relying on cheap labour from overseas.

Instead, it hopes businesses will invest in retaining staff and developing new tech.

Under the new system, overseas citizens have to reach 70 points to be able to work in the UK. Having the offer of a skilled job with an approved sponsor and speaking English will offer 50 points, with more points awarded for qualifications, salary on offer (at least £25,600) and sector shortages.

However, a new report from the Industrial Strategy Council (ISC) says these measures will fail to tackle the nation’s economic challenges and hit targets of 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027.

The ISC report, released on Wednesday, said a “step change” in the growth rate of spending on research and development by both public and private sectors is needed to meet the targets.

“The UK economy is likely to face an unprecedented, and growing, skills challenge in the years ahead,” the report says. “Without intervention, these rising pressures will hold back productivity growth in the economy.”

FURTHER READING: Uncertain future for UK economy

FURTHER READING: UK to introduce inflation-busting national minimum wage rise

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