The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has today published its long-awaited report on salary thresholds for non-UK workers and a future points-based immigration system.

Industry was concerned that the future migration system would leave many ‘medium-skilled’ construction roles not eligible for skilled visas. Also, that the salary threshold of £30,000 for people to work in the UK under this visa was higher than what employers would typically pay. This at a time when Government is asking the construction industry to deliver ambitious housing and infrastructure targets.

FIS, CITB, BuildUK and a number of other trade groups including the FIS and the Construction Leadership have been engaging with government and the MAC on these issues over the past three years, including submitting a joint industry response to the review in November. Today, the MAC has recommended that the salary threshold be reduced to £25,600, with a range of new medium-skilled construction roles (more than any other sector) now recommended to be made eligible for the ‘skilled-visa’. These include:

    • carpenters and joiners
    • glaziers
    • window fabricators and fitters
    • plasterers
    • floorers
    • wall tilers
    • painters and decorators
    • construction and building trades supervisors

CITB Policy and Strategy Director Steve Radley said: ‘This is an important first-step for our industry and now we will wait to see the Government’s response to the report. It shows what we can achieve by working together and with good evidence. Interestingly, the MAC has also recommend that specific sector-based schemes should be re-examined for sectors with lower-skilled workers such as construction.

‘As a group we will continue to work together with government to ensure the future immigration system provides the breathing space to industry to grow the domestic workforce.’

To view the report click here.