Barmy scientists or useful workforce? Now that Bexit has been delivered, Boris Johnson has to live up to his promise of the points-based system that was one of his six key guarantees on page one of their manifesto in December 2019. Yes, that “Australian points-based immigration system” that will control immigration into the United Kingdom which we have been hearing for ages.
On instructions of the home office, the government’s official migration policy advisers are reviewing the Australian points based system in order to “advise on what best practice can be used to strengthen the UK labour market and attract the best and brightest from around the world”.
What is the Australian points-based immigration system?
Australia has what is known as a general skilled migration programme, where immigrants applying for a visa are typically selected based on “economically relevant characteristics” such as education, language skills and work experience. This does not apply for refugees and asylum seekers and there are other visas available with different requirements, such as travel or holiday visas.
Points are allocated then depending on policy and the labour market but typically an applicant picks a “skilled occupation” from a list and needs to score a minimum number of points. After a series of checks with personal, financial and contact details, identity documents, education, employment, health and travel history, the visa application is submitted online
What is the Current Policy ?
The current UK immigration policy includes a points based system for those migrating for work purposes. The requirements for non-EU migrants to enter the UK is for them to have a job. It has high skilled migrants salary threshold of £30,000.
The Migration Advisory Committee Report
However, the migration advisory committee (Mac) in its 271-page report, does not back an Australian-points based system and recommends a mixed system, which would rely on a minimum salary threshold for those people coming to the UK with a job offer and a points-based system for skilled workers and the talented individuals, coming to the UK without an arranged job.
Mac concluded that if the government wants a points-based system it should only introduce it for skilled workers without a job offer. It further recommends cutting the salary threshold for skilled migrants from £30,000 to £25,600 for those coming to the UK with a job offer.
This could make it easier for teachers, NHS employees and people at the start of their careers to qualify. The committee recommends higher thresholds for more highly paid occupations.
Alan Manning, the chair of the committee stated that the committee’s recommendations would reduce levels of immigration, the size of the UK population and total GDP, and increase pressure on social care, the Mac said. But they would probably reduce pressures on the NHS, schools and on social housing.
Will Mac recommendation be listened to?
Doubt it! Downing Street has indicated it was unlikely to notably change course on its immigration plans as a result of the report. Moreover, the home secretary, Priti Patel, dismissed the committee as “advisory”, setting the stage for the government to plough ahead with whatever plans it deems most effective.
A Home Office spokesperson, in response the report said: “We will deliver on the people’s priorities by introducing a points-based immigration system from 2021 to attract the brightest and best talent from around the world, while reducing low-skilled migration and bringing overall numbers down.”
Barmy Scientists or Useful Workforce?
Boris Johnson’s exclusive “global talent visa”, to be launched in February, is aimed at “the world’s scientists and mathematicians”. It will prove, he says, that post-Brexit “the UK is open to the most talented minds in the world” – so long as they are scientists. As for entrepreneurs, economists, humanitarians, historians, artists, let alone mere caring human beings, they should stay put.
Johnson’s home secretary, Priti Patel, says it is “about time” Britain learned to breed its own lesser class of worker. As for breeding its own scientists, that is apparently beyond its capacity.
From the Conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher to now, over four decades, Scientist and Mathematicians have been the core of every election manifesto, virtually reached as a new religion to salvage human beings and traumatising the masses with Russia putting a man in space indicating that Russia was advanced in science (ignoring their understanding of politics and economics.) Four decades later, where are we with Science?
Well, with the collapse of the British car, ship, airline and computing industries and a draconian emphasis on maths that has merely led to Britain having to rely on the Chinese for digital infrastructure. Economic success was based instead on finance, design, marketing and trade.
Meanwhile cuts in the much-needed NHS staff teachers included deportation measures leave the United Kingdom with under-resourced schools and hospitals and long waiting list o the NHS.