29/02/12

Commenting on the employment-related settlement changes announced by the Home Secretary today, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

"While a salary threshold set at £35,000 will not stop the best and the brightest migrants from coming here to contribute to our economy, employers remain concerned about the potential for unintended consequences so this new level must be monitored. We welcome the exemption from the threshold for employees using the shortage occupation route, as they have the key skills Britain needs to power economic recovery, while giving the government and employers time to train up UK nationals to fill these gaps.

"However, the government must be clearer that Britain welcomes the best talent from overseas. Sometimes the rhetoric is off-putting. If skilled individuals think the UK doesn't want their skills, they will go to our global competitors who have made their interest very clear.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

  • The settlement pay threshold has been set at £35,000
  • The threshold will be waived for those who have come through the shortage occupation list at the time of sponsorship
  • PHD level jobs will be exempt from the threshold
  • The threshold will apply from April 6th 2012

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people. For more information visit: http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/

Media contacts:

Liz Larvin
Tel: 020 7654 5813 / 07825746812
Email: l.larvin@britishchambers.org.uk

Lisa Morrison
Tel: 020 7654 5812 / 07717682221
Email: l.morrison@britishchambers.org.uk