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Robust enforcement needed to ensure immigration system works

Robust enforcement needed to ensure immigration system works
  
The  House of Commons Public  Accounts  Committee has today published its report on the Points Based System (PBS)  for immigration. The report is based on evidence given by the Home Office and UK Border Agency and examines the management of the  PBS  work routes.
 
Much of the report focuses on the intra-company transfer (ICT) system whereby multi-national employers can  bring  workers from outside the European Economic Area to their UK offices. The report suggests that  a number of these employers are potentially displacing UK workers with IT skills. In addition, the report says that although this route is not capped and is instead regulated by a certain income threshold, many companies are circumventing this by using allowances to falsely inflate a reported salary.
 
Commenting on the issue, Gillian Econopouly, REC Head of Public Policy said:
Fundamentally, the immigration system needs to be flexible to business and this includes the ability to bring senior internal people across from other countries in order to lead projects and create more jobs. The exemption for ICTs is a sensible step in this regard, which the REC has long supported.
However, if the exemption is not properly policed and implemented there is the potential for abuse. The minimum salary of 40,000 must be rigorously enforced by the UK Border Agency to ensure employers do not use allowances to create an artificial salary that allows them to bring in an overseas worker to do a job for less money.
She concluded:
The REC appreciates that the UKBA has the hugely difficult task of designing and operating an immigration system which enables the UK to  access the skills it needs, while at the same time protecting the interests of workers already resident in this country. However, with recruiters on the front line we firmly believe that our members can help the government identify the evolving needs of the UK labour market and we  will continue to work with the government to identify and address skills shortages."
 
The REC has long contributed to the immigration debate  through both the UK Border Agency and the Migration Advisory Committee  consultations  on the immigration cap, as well as  participating in  the Home Offices Business Advisory Panel.
 
The REC also recognises and supports the need to develop home-grown talent, and last year published the Youth Employment Taskforce report Avoiding a Lost Generation,  which outlines  practical measures for upskilling UK workers and helping young people into the jobs market.  

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