The advertising industry has hailed Government plans to introduce a points-based immigration system – as well as a £25,600 salary threshold for skilled workers – despite widespread condemnation that the proposal will decimate farming, catering and nursing.
An AA spokesperson said: “We welcome the certainty today’s Government announcement brings in clarifying how the future immigration system will work. The UK is a global hub for advertising and the flow of skilled talent to and from the UK has helped attract business to this country and increase the number of advertising jobs for domestic workers.
“While the industry has greatly benefitted from free movement, we believe that the new points-based system, enabling foreign skilled workers to enter the country if they have a job offer earning above £25,600, coupled with the ability of students to stay on in the country for two years after graduating, and the temporary worker visa are to be welcomed.”
The AA did express concerns that there is not much time for businesses to transition to the new system, as it needs to be working from January 1 2021.
The spokesperson added: “We would ask the Government to ensure that the Shortage Occupation List is flexible and future-looking to respond to the economy’s present and future demands. The Government should also tie educational outcomes with immigration reforms to ensure that domestic talent coming into the workplace has the right skills.”
However, the Royal College of Nursing said the proposals would “not meet the health and care needs of the population”, while the National Farmers’ Union said it had serious concerns about the “failure to recognise British food and farming’s needs”.
Meanwhile, the Food & Drink Federation warned that many bakers, meat processors and workers making food like cheese and pasta would not qualify under the new system.
Then there are also questions over who will be serving the drinks when adland goes to the pub, let alone at the numerous award ceremonies the sector holds.
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