The Advertising Association (AA) has welcomed the government's new skills-based immigration system outlined in its migration white paper published today (19 December).
While the government scraps over the terms of the Brexit settlement with the European Union, skilled workers and business set up in the region have been concerned about market access, particularly if new rules restricted immigration.
New plans outlined by home secretary Sajid Javid would open the UK to tens of thousands of low-skilled migrants for up to a year post-Brexit, lasting until 2025. A particular cause for concern was the fact 'skilled' jobs were initially ranked at a higher salary than £30,000.
This has been walked back by government with the announcement positioned to ease concerns from industries reliant on overseas labour.
Speaking for the advertising industry, Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the AA, said: “We broadly welcome the government’s White Paper on Migration published today. We support the proposal to remove the annual cap on the number of work visas issued. Although the Migration Advisory Committee’s original report had recommended maintaining the £30,000 salary threshold for workers coming to the UK, the Home Office has decided to consult with business to work out an appropriate threshold, thus providing some necessary flexibility. We also think that the offer to short-term workers and international students is generally positive, too.
“The UK is the world’s most internationally diverse hub for advertising, generating stellar growth in exports and a strong trade surplus in advertising services. UK advertising has benefited from a virtuous circle of attracting the world’s best talent attracting more business and, in turn that attracting more talent — creating jobs for international and British workers. The Advertising Association believes that skilled migrants from anywhere in the world should be able to come to the UK more easily. We support a flexible system that keeps the UK as an attractive place for exceptional people to grow their careers, particularly in the advertising industry. The UK’s future immigration policy is one of the key levers determining our post-Brexit success, and if there is a flexible, business-friendly system, we will have higher growth and stronger exports than if we have a highly-restrictive regime, which would only benefit our international competitors.”