To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the fact that the average United Kingdom graduate starting salary ranges from £18,000 to £24,000, what assessment they have made of the impact of policy that allows international students to stay in the United Kingdom upon the condition that they find a graduate-level job paying £24,000 a year.
The Government recognises that there should be opportunities for the brightest and best international students to undertake skilled work in the UK after their studies. International students who graduate in the UK may switch into skilled work providing they have an offer of graduate-level job from a sponsoring employer, paying at least £20,500 per year or the appropriate salary for the particular occupation, whichever is higher.
The Government closed the previous Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) route in April 2012. This route granted free access to the UK labour market for two years after graduation in the UK. Too many individuals in the route were unemployed or competing with resident workers for low-skilled jobs, and too many were using the student route merely as a means to work in the UK, without any real intention of study. We also saw a large number of fraudulent applications. This undermined our work routes and damaged the reputation of our education system.