The points related work scheme - how effective will it be?

client, candidate, Accountancy...


Today, the government has announced the details of the points related system for people wishing to come and work in this country. Some of the main points are as follows:

  • UK borders will be closed to non-skilled workers
  • Migrants need to be able to speak English
  • Anyone wanting to come to the UK must have a job offer of £25,600 or in special cases where there are shortages eg nursing, an offer of £20,480
  • The cap on skilled workers will be scrapped and some will be allowed in without a job
There has natually been an outcry from business associations, which have got used to endless supplies of cheap labour from the EU and as a recruiter, reading the bare bones of these plans, I understand their concerns but there is another side to this, which I have seen.
I think for too long the potential of our own young people has been overlooked in favour of cheap labour from outside. In addition, wages have been held down by the excess supply of labour, particularly at the lower end of the job market for too many years whilst the people at the top have continued to benefit. This is not to denigrate those who have come and worked in the UK. Most of the people I have had dealings with are incredibly hard workers and do a superb job and as a recruiter, I shall miss their contribution.
However, it is time to develop the UK workforce and I believe that this points system will only work if we do that. We need to invest and train our young people like never before and make them realise that there are lots of opportunities for them to be a success. We also need to have ways to encourage those currently at the bottom of the pile to take up training opportunities and show them a pathway to greater things. At the same time, young people need help to develop resilience and a collective backbone to deal with what life throws them and a realisation that we all do a stint at the bottom of the ladder as part of a climb to the top instead of expecting to be fasttracked to the top.
If we get these things right, we have a bright future. If we don't, we shall struggle to grow our businesses and be the economic success which we can surely be.
Have a great week.
Jeanette Robinson