[7th Allotted Day]

Part of Points of Order – in the House of Commons at 9:41 am on 11th January 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Secretary of State for the Home Department 9:41 am, 11th January 2019

If the hon. Gentleman bears with me, I think he will see as I progress with my remarks what routes of entry we have for those who bring talent and skills to our country.

The Migration Advisory Committee has recommended that the salary threshold for the skilled worker route be £30,000. There has, of course, been a lively debate on that point already. We will run a 12-month process of engagement with business, employers, universities and others. Only at the conclusion of that work will we determine the level at which the threshold should be set. In any case, we will retain the shortage occupation list, which allows for a lower threshold in jobs such as nursing where there are shortages.

There will also be a new route for workers at any skill level, but it will be for only a temporary period. That will allow businesses to have the staff they need as we move to the new immigration system. It also gives them a clear incentive to invest more in training young British people now. Access to low-skilled labour from abroad should never be a substitute for investment in the skills of British people. Our new system will ensure that it is not.

Members have pointed out that agriculture has a particular reliance on migrant labour. I have listened carefully to those concerns and we will pilot a seasonal agricultural workers scheme in the spring. That announcement has already been well received.