The Daily Telegraph

Migrants need to earn £30k if they want to work in UK

Ministers expected to raise salary threshold for skilled workers to enter country to reduce net migration


FOREIGN workers will need a salary of more than £30,000 to come to Britain under plans to tackle immigratio­n.

With annual net migration set to stick at about 500,000 ministers are expected to set out proposals to raise the salary threshold for skilled workers.

Workers outside “shortage occupation­s” currently require a salary of at least £26,200 to take up jobs in the UK, significan­tly below the median wage of £33,000. The proposal, which has yet to be finalised, comes ahead of this Thursday’s net migration data for the year ending June 2023, which is expected to have remained at significan­tly higher levels than they were pre-brexit.

Net migration, the number entering the UK minus those leaving, hit a record peak of 637,000 in the year ending September 2022 before falling to 606,000 in the year ending December 2022.

It is expected to have fallen as a result of increasing emigration including overseas students returning home and a decline in the number of Ukrainian refugees and Hongkonger­s.

Experts anticipate it may hit 500,000, more than double the 226,000 of 2019 and blowing apart the Government’s 2019 manifesto pledge to bring down the overall rate of net migration.

The surge has been fuelled by more than 1.4 million migrants a year being granted visas primarily from outside the EU to enter the UK to work, study or escape conflict or oppression. The proposals to reduce net migration have been pushed within government by Robert Jenrick, the immigratio­n minister, and Suella Braverman, before she was sacked as home secretary.

In an interview with The Telegraph last week, Mr Jenrick warned that the Government’s failure to reduce net migration was a “betrayal” of the British public. Ministers have consistent­ly argued that business must boost training and recruitmen­t of British workers rather than relying on imported foreign staff.

“Net migration is far too high. For more than 30 years, the British public have been voting for controlled migration. But politician­s of all stripes have failed to deliver the migration system that they’re seeking,” he said.

“When we left the European Union, we took back control of the levers of

‘Politician­s of all stripes have failed to deliver the migration system that British voters are seeking’

migration. But then we went on to betray the promise by failing to establish a system which significan­tly reduced levels of migration. I want to see fundamenta­l reform of our system, and that needs to happen as a matter of urgency.”

It is not clear whether the plans will include restrictio­ns on the number of foreign care workers, currently standing at 120,000 a year, and on migrants bringing their families to the UK.

However, it is believed Rishi Sunak has resisted further curbs on foreign students for fear of deterring highly skilled people who could boost growth. He has already banned postgradua­te students other than research-led Phds bringing in their relatives.

Rosalynn Carter, the former US first lady, died yesterday aged 96. Jimmy Carter once said his wife was “an extension of myself ”, owing to her prominent role in his administra­tion.

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