Last month CaSE warned the Government that its proposals to introduce a ‘sunset clause’ for the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) could damage the science and engineering sector – and last week the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the Home Office’s independent advisory group on immigration, agreed with our concerns. If the Government follows the new recommendation, it will be a victory for common sense.
Senior figures from the world of science and engineering last week called for further consultation on the Government’s immigration proposals to limit the number of skilled immigrants entering the country, warning that such changes could damage the UK’s science and engineering base.
CaSE has written to the Immigration Minister Mark Harper raising concerns over the proposed ‘sunset clause’ – the automatic removal of any occupation from the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). Read More
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has launched a new consultation on the Shortage Occupations List, which closes on 30th November 2012.
The MAC is the Government’s main independent advisory body on immigration policy. Part of their role is keeping the Shortage Occupations List (SOL) up to date. If your job appears on the SOL, then you’ll have an easier time getting into the country.
The Government have recently asked the MAC, amongst other things, whether jobs on the SOL should be removed from the list automatically after two years – the rationale being that the SOL is intended to be a short-term measure, not a way of addressing long-term skills shortages. Read More
Summary of Home Office (HO) introductory presentations
There is a Government mandate to reduce net migration down from approximately 240,000 to tens of thousands. The recent changes reflect the Government’s aim of reducing the numbers but also being more selective about the migrants the UK needs. These demonstrate that Britain is open for business. It was emphasised that the HO is keen to protect and encourage the UK as a science hub and that is why the changes encourage scientists to come to work and study in the UK. Read More
New Immigration Rules took effect on 6 April that will change the way that research centres, universities and other employers recruit workers from outside of Europe. More changes are due on 14 June 2012.
The extensive set of changes touched on every area of policy for Tier 2 migrants, the ‘skilled worker’ category. There has been a lot of change, and staff in HR, the individual employees and their recruiting managers could be forgiven for losing track. Read More
The Home Office has just released its latest ‘Statement of Intent’ on immigration. There are two bits of good news for science and engineering.
The first is that the Government will be keeping the overall limit on work-related non-EU immigration static at 20,700 per year. There had been some concern that it would be reduced, given the relatively low levels of visas actually taken up last year.
The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), the UK’s leading independent advocacy group for the sector, welcomed today’s announced exemption of most scientists and engineers from the Government’s new restrictions on settlement rights for migrants. The group had expressed concerns that limiting the length of stay to a maximum of five years could deter some of the world’s brightest talent from considering the UK as a destination. Read More
Today the Government has announced new provisions around settlement, making it harder for immigrants to stay in the country after having been here for five years. Immigrants now have to meet a salary threshold, or be forced to leave the country. When this was first suggested CaSE raised concerns with the Home Office, including via a well-publicised letter to The Times, that this would deter some of the world’s brightest talent from considering the UK as a destination.
Senior figures from the world of science and engineering have today called for an urgent rethink on the Government’s proposals to drastically limit potential settlement rights for immigrants, warning that the changes could damage the UK’s science and engineering base.
The individuals, who include two former Presidents of the Royal Society and the current Director of the Wellcome Trust, have argued that special consideration needs to be given to the long-term nature of science and engineering research.
CaSE has organised a letter (£, or see below), published in today’s Times, which warns that Government proposals to drastically limit the settlement rights of migrants coming into the UK could seriously damage the country’s science and engineering base.
It comes a year after CaSE organised a first letter to the Times, signed by eight Nobel laureates, protesting against the government’s initial proposals for an immigration cap. For more details about CaSE’s work on this issue see here.
The new letter is signed by twenty individuals from across the science and engineering sector, ranging from industry to higher education, and includes two former Presidents of the Royal Society and the current Director of the country’s biggest research charity, the Wellcome Trust.
Posted in Highlights, Letters
Also tagged Letters
The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), the UK’s leading independent scientific advocacy group, welcomed the Government’s announcement of an extra 1000 places for exceptionally talented immigrants, including scientists and engineers. However, CaSE cautioned that capping immigration is still inherently flawed.
CaSE campaigned vigorously against the immigration controls when they were first announced, sounding the alarm over the potential damage to UK science and engineering. Data shows that in some STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) subjects, over a quarter of the UK’s academic workforce originates from outside the EU, while employers consistently cite access to a global talent pool as one of the reasons investing in the UK is attractive. Read More
Times Front Page on CaSE letter
The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) today claimed that the Government’s new immigration rules represented a victory for the science and engineering sectors. The new proposals give significant rewards to applicants with science and engineering qualifications.
Academics, industrialists, and charity researchers had sounded the alarm over the coalition’s new ‘migrant cap’ for workers from outside the EU, having shown how important international mobility is for research and development.
Over one in seven academics in the UK higher education sector alone hail from outside the EU. In October eight Nobel laureates, including the new President of the Royal Society, signed a letter organised by CaSE saying that the UK “must not to isolate itself” from the global world of research.
The new proposals from the UK Border Agency mean that an applicant who has a PhD or equivalent level job offer, earning £23,000, would be preferred over someone earning £74,000 but who did not have a PhD-level job offer.
CaSE’s efforts in this area were recognised by the Conservative Immigration Minister Damian Green on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme.
Co-authored by James Lush, CaSE intern, and Imran Khan, CaSE Director
The Home Office’s plans to restrict student visas present some potentially damaging implications for UK science and engineering. CaSE has responded to the consultation, here is a summary of our concerns and suggestions.
The Government is planning to introduce tougher language tests for potential students. However, science and engineering are inherently international activities, with recognition based on academic merit.
CaSE continues to reject the idea of imposing limits on the number of talented scientists and engineers who can enter the UK. It seems that the Government has yet to accept the notion that the UK needs international talent more than international talent needs the UK.
However, within that context, CaSE feels that the Government proposals for reforming the immigration system are now moving in the right direction. If done correctly, we may be able to maintain the status quo, or even fulfil the Home Secretary’s promise of bringing more scientists into the country.
CaSE has responded to the measures announced by the Home Secretary on Wednesday aimed at limiting the number of non-EU migrants entering the UK. We welcome the efforts made by the Home Office to cater for the UK’s need to attract and accept talented scientists and engineers, however, we remain concerned that the changes to the systems may well decrease the number of such individuals who can enter the country.
CaSE has produced a briefing document – Science, Engineering, and the Immigration Cap: Preliminary Reaction & Proposals – analysing the Government’s announcements.
For immediate release – 23rd November 2010
The Home Secretary today announced a raft of new measures aimed at limiting the number of non-EU migrants entering the UK. In particular, the government has made changes to Tier 1 – the ‘highly skilled’ tier – replacing it with a new ‘exceptional talent’ route capped with a 1000 annual limit.
CaSE has organised a letter published in yesterday’s Times newspaper opposing the government’s proposed cap on non-EU migrants, signed by eight Nobel laureates including the two Russian migrants who won the Nobel Prize for Physics this week, Professor Andrew Geim and Professor Konstantin Novoselov. The letter received excellent coverage on the front page of the paper, as well as receiving further exposure in the paper’s leader, which called on the UK to maintain its excellence in scientific research, and a case study.
A letter to the Times highlighting the need for the government to ensure that the most talented scientists are attracted to the UK. The letter is endorsed by eight Nobel Prize Winners
Letter to the Times on the non-EU immigration cap
CaSE has responded to the Home Office Consultation on Limits of Non-EU Migration and the Migration Advisory Council Consultation on an Annual Limit on Economic Migration to the UK
By Katherine Barnes, Science Writer
Backlash over the Government’s interim cap on non-EU migrants continued this week, with scientists and engineers from academia and industry criticising the scheme and warning of its impact on the economy. University leaders are now protesting against a “double whammy”, with impending cuts to the science budget and an immigration cap that limits their ability to bring in top talent from abroad.
The government’s temporary cap on migrants was imposed on 28 June, in order to prevent a sudden swell in visa applications before a more permanent limit is brought in next year, but the limit was based on the number of overseas staff recruited in 2009, in the depths of recession.