Presentation on theme: "Jon Simmons Head of Migration and Border Analysis, Home Office, United Kingdom Presentation to International Metropolis Conference, Tampere, Finland 10."— Presentation transcript:
Jon Simmons Head of Migration and Border Analysis, Home Office, United Kingdom Presentation to International Metropolis Conference, Tampere, Finland 10 th -13 th September 2013
Overview 1.The background to current debates in the UK and what may make the UK different 2.The policies introduced by the Coalition Government to refocus migration policy and their impacts 3.Some initial comments on the nature of public debate on migration in the UK
The growth of migration in the UK has been unprecedented over the past decade and a half Source: House of Commons Library
The nature of migration in the UK has been changing Post-colonial chain migration has always been important Work grew prior to the recession (especially for EU migrants) but was not the dominant reason for migration Asylum applications peaked in the early 2000s, but have since fallen significantly Very strong growth in migration for study Long-term International Migrant INFLOW All reasons TOTAL ('000s) Work Related Accompany / Join Formal study Other (including Asylum) AllDefinite job Looking for work YE Dec YE Dec YE Dec Change % 2%3%0% -6%48%-66% Source: Office for National Statistics
What makes the UK different? High levels of migration historically, and compared to other EU High net migration, compared to other EU Less work migration and asylum than many countries Very high levels of study migration (2 nd only to USA) Plentiful supply of low-skilled migrants from the EU High and rising fertility rates Strong diversity and a tradition of welcoming other cultures Lack of widespread support for extremist political parties
Still the British public hold strong views on migration Source: British Social Attitudes Survey 29 ‘Small Island’ (Ashcroft poll) – six in ten thought immigration had produced more disadvantages than advantages for the country as a whole ‘Transatlantic Trends’ (Marshall Plan poll) - 68% in UK thought immigration more of a problem than an opportunity (vs 43% in Germany)
Prime Minister David Cameron: “I’ve always had a clear view about immigration. I believe that immigration has brought significant benefits to Britain, from Polish heroes who fought for us during the war to West Indians who helped us to rebuild afterwards; from those who’ve come to our shores seeking a safe haven from persecution, to those who’ve come to make a better life for themselves and their families and, in the process, have enriched our society by working hard, taking risks and creating jobs and wealth for the whole country. Our migrant communities are a fundamental part of who we are and Britain is a far richer and stronger society because of them... So many Great Britons today have family histories that have brought them to these shores. This is our island story: open, diverse and welcoming, and I am immensely proud of it.” – Speech at University Campus Suffolk, 25 th March 2013
The 2010 Coalition Government In her first speech on immigration in Nov 2010 the Home Secretary Teresa May said that among her priorities were: – To encourage more entrepreneurs and investors to come to Britain – Put a stop to abuse of the student route – Cutting the link between those who come here temporarily and permanent settlement These policies have been introduced, following wide and deep public consultation
Lower-skilled migrant labour The previous Labour Government introduced Points-Based system but kept Tier 3 closed. There was no route to apply to come to the UK to work in a low-skilled job, except as a domestic worker, or as a family member or student. But low-skilled workers came. Five sixths of the 1.5 million growth in employment in the UK between 2002 and 2012 was accounted for by foreign nationals (two thirds from the EU) The Migrant workforce is not divorced from the rest of the labour force. Welfare, training and immigration are linked. Prime Minister David Cameron : “we need to educate and train up our youth, not rely on immigration to fill our skills gaps”
Highly skilled workers Prioritise the applicants business wants over those who want to come but do not have a job Enhance standards for sponsored skilled workers language and salary requirements, make the route primarily temporary Listen to business requests for certainty and stability, and freeze the limit for remainder of this Parliament. Make Intra- Company Transfers (ICTs) exempt from the limit. Develop a visa system that is efficient and quick in comparison to other countries, and which will continue to improve. Prime Minister David Cameron – “Not one business request has been rejected because of the limit, and not one scientist or engineer has been turned down for lack of space”
Entrepreneurs, Investors and people with exceptional talent New scheme to back foreign investors and entrepreneurs New Graduate Entrepreneurs route with 1,000 extra places for MBA graduates who want to try out innovative business ideas For the most successful High Value Migrants we offer an accelerated path to settlement Special scheme for recognised leaders in the fields of science, engineering, humanities and the arts = 1,000 places per annum
Student migrants David Cameron (February 2013) “After you have left a British university, if you can get a graduate-level job there is no limit to the amount of people who can stay and work.” No limit on students. Numbers from outside EU coming to UK Universities still growing. – up 4% PhD students are now allowed to remain in the UK for 12 months to find skilled work or set up as an entrepreneur Student visas number fell sharply due to the crackdown on immigration system abuse, particularly in the further education sector. Language school students now have access to a new short-term student visitor visa, and these numbers have been growing.
The aim is to bring in the brightest and the best Sponsored visa applications for skilled non-EEA workers were up 7% in Year-Ending June Sectors with strong growth included Information and Communication Technology up 6% and Education up 48%. Non-EU applications to study at UK Universities are up 4% Visas for Youth Mobility and temporary workers were up 5% with the majority of growth in the arts and entertainment sector – Long-term Immigration is down to 497,000, a similar level as in 2002 – Net migration, is now +176,000, 31% lower than the recent peak in September 2010
How should we talk about migration? The issue is not whether migration is good or bad. It is not ‘no borders’ vs ‘no migrants’. Migration is not a philosophical or theoretical matter. However, evidence is often equivocal and unclear at best. There is room for debate over practical questions like how much migration, what kind of migration, how can it best be managed, how can we ensure migrants succeed? It is a question of consequences, for migrants themselves, but also for their receiving communities & those they leave behind.
How can we talk to the public? Recognise that the public support migration where it meets a clear need but there are genuine concerns over perceived and real inequalities in the labour market and in relation to access to public services And the public demand ‘fairness’ – an immigration process that works effectively, where people abide by the law and do not bring the system into disrepute Fundamentally, if we are to build public confidence we need to give the public confidence that the system works