UK to introduce foreign talent acquisition fee to employers through a new skill charge system

Friday, February 10, 2017

The government of the United Kingdom is planning to introduce a new incentive program to reduce local employers’ reliance on foreign talent.

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According to the proposed plan, employers will have to pay a £1,000-a-year fee for every worker they acquire from outside Switzerland and the EU region. The new scheme called Immigration Skills Charge will begin implementation after successfully triggering Article 50 in April 2017. This means that a full visa would cost the employer a total of £3,000, since the Tier 2 (General) visa is typically issued for 3 years.

The bold move from the Home Office has been criticised by many as anti-immigration as it appears that it’s incentivising local employers not to hire immigrants. The government is resolute that the move will ensure local workers a wider access to local jobs.

Many UK-based entrepreneurs said that the country’s labour market is not capable of producing the skills they are looking for, especially for crucial posts in emerging industries. The inability to hire a talented employee outside the country will also stifle growth and expansion. This will also force them to pay a UK-born worker who could be either incompetent or doesn’t fit specific job requirements.

Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill admitted that the scheme could be extended to cover high-skilled workers from the EU region. “We are also bringing in the immigration skills charge for non-EEA skilled workers in the future. So it goes like this: if you want to recruit an Indian computer programmer on a four-year contract, on top of the existing visa charges and the resident labour market test, there will be a fee of £1,000 per year,” Goodwill told the press.

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