New controls help protect jobs for British workforce

A raft of new government measures will ensure that resident workers can have every opportunity to fill vacancies before they are offered to workers abroad, the Home Secretary announced today.Following careful consideration, the government has accepted the recommendations made last month by the Migration Advisory Committee to tighten up the rules controlling when skilled workers are allowed to take jobs in the United Kingdom under the government's points-based system.

This will mean that, from next year, all jobs must be advertised to British workers in Jobcentre Plus for four weeks – extended from two weeks – before companies can seek to employ individuals from outside Europe. This will ensure that British workers not only are first in line for jobs but also have more time in which to apply.

The government will also extend the qualifying period for all those overseas workers who want to transfer to work at their company's United Kingdom base. This will mean that they will need to have worked for their firm for at least a year – rather than six months as at present – before they can transfer here.

Additionally, the minimum salary that will allow an individual to qualify as a skilled worker and be eligible to work in the United Kingdom will rise, from £17,000 to £20,000.

A total of 16 recommendations were put forward by the Migration Advisory Committee, all of which will now be put in place to ensure that the points-based system does more to support United Kingdom workers while continuing to facilitate the trade, travel, and study that benefits the United Kingdom.

In reaching this decision, the government has been advised by informative discussions with businesses and key public service organisations. It will continue to work with business to develop a plan for implementing the recommendations.