Prime Minister tackles questions on latest immigration figures
The Home Office is looking to expand its short-term visa options to allow young Europeans to be allowed to work in Britain to help fill skills gaps in the workforce.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick are said to have proposed youth mobility scheme deal with Switzerland. Further negotiations could take place in the future to include EU member states.
The scheme would benefit workers aged between 18 and 30 and allow them to travel and work in the UK for two years without the need for sponsorship or the need to meet salary thresholds. Any agreements would be reciprocal and allow young Britons to travel and work in these countries.
A source told the Sunday Times: “This is the one way that you can restore some of the things the younger generation felt were ripped away from them as well as boosting the economy.”
They added: “There are a number of advantages. They generally don’t count towards net migration, they have a good history of compliance and so there are not a lot of overstayers.”
READ MORE: UK could open doors to thousands of young Europeans to plug workforce gaps
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It is thought any deals would help boost the economy without increasing net migration, helping industry leaders fill a million job vacancies. The migration advisory committee to the government argues that expanding the scheme would be “beneficial”, particularly for the hospitality sector.
Ms Braverman and Mr Jenrick would reportedly prefer to strike deals with individual countries rather than an EU-wide agreement, but the Home Office has not ruled out negotiating this.
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Deputy Chairman of the European Research Group David Jones MP said: “We’ve been bingeing for far too long on foreign labour. We need to train our own young people but the fact they are talking about shipping over more people from abroad shows the focus of the civil service is wrong. This has clearly been devised by the urban elite. Most people want our young to be trained and put into good jobs.”
The UK has reciprocal youth mobility visa schemes with Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and Iceland but do you think more should be agreed to help plug the skills gap? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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