THE FMB HAS WELCOMED the news that the government’s migration advisory committee is recommending a £4,400 cut in the salary threshold for migrants.
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended that the government drops the threshold to £25,600 from £30,000 for skilled workers with job offers if and when a new system is implemented in January 2021.
The committee argued that medium-skilled trades and jobs should be included alongside highly skilled when it estimates the top 25 per cent of earners, which then lowers the level.
According to the committee “this means that most employers will be able to hire migrants at wages which many existing workers in those occupations are currently being paid.”
The FMB believes the change will help the UK meet its targets for building new homes by helping to plug skills gaps in construction.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said: “Construction workers of all skill levels from labourers to site managers will be needed to deliver the Government’s ambitious housing and infrastructure targets. While there is much more to do to train up our domestic workforce, skill shortages and an ageing demographic will mean the construction sector will still need access to workers from outside the UK.
“Salary is not always a true reflection of skill, so it is very welcome that the Migration Advisory Committee has recommended that the salary threshold be reduced to £25,600.
“More than half of FMB members said that a £30,000 salary was higher than what they would typically pay, so it’s good that these proposals now reflect reality. It is also encouraging that the MAC has recommended that ‘medium-skilled’ roles such as carpenters and painters should be eligible for skilled visas”
“The temporary visa route remains a concern, however. This route will need to have a path to permanent settlement otherwise many workers will simply choose to work elsewhere. The Government should consider giving temporary migrants the opportunity to complete training and settle on a skilled visa while remaining in the UK.”