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North East business leaders call for immigration skills charge to be scrapped

Thursday, March 31, 2016

A widening skills crisis is forcing many firms to look abroad for skilled workers, including Gateshead transport innovator Sevcon.

North East business leaders have rounded on Government plans to impose charges on firms who employ skilled workers from abroad, saying the deepening UK skills crisis is forcing them to search overseas.

The Government recently confirmed it is pressing ahead with plans to introduce the new Immigration Skills Charge, a move designed to reduce the UK's reliance on migrant workers.

From April 2017, a charge of £1,000 per employee - £364 for small or charitable organisations - will be levied on employers that recruit migrants in skilled areas, a policy it claims will incentivise training UK staff to fill those jobs.

Only PhD-level jobs and international students switching from student visas to working visas will be exempt, with Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson saying the policy "delivers valuable flexibilities that will help to address skills shortages while ensuring the UK remains a leading knowledge economy and popular destination for international students."

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Resource: Chronicle Live

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