SCC COMMENT ON RELEASE OF MIGRATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT

On the release of the Migration Advisory Committee’s report on the UK’s immigration system, published today, following the announcement of Scottish Government plans for a “Scottish visa”, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:

“A fair and sustainable immigration system is critical for growth and a top priority for businesses in Scotland.

“Whilst Brexit means the end of freedom of movement, it presents an opportunity for us to consider what the economic and business needs are for a future immigration policy.

“While the Migration Advisory Committee’s plan for a reduction in the salary threshold is welcome and the list of eligible jobs has been expanded, it is disappointing that recommendations did not take account of regional salary differences. We believe this risks limiting access to skills for companies in Scotland.

“Employers in Scotland need a migration system that suits regional wage levels and is responsive to Scotland’s unique demographic challenges. Our members have consistently raised concerns that a one-size-fits-all approach across the UK will not meet business and economic needs.

“Scottish companies are investing more in homegrown skills, but they will continue to need access to migrant skills at all levels for the foreseeable future. At a time of critical skills shortages, the UK government needs to send signals around the world that the UK is open for business. Furthermore, we will ensure our members are also fully consulted on the proposed Scottish visa by the Scottish Government.

“Business will want to see the Scottish and UK Government working seriously and closely together on these and future recommendations, ensuring appropriate policies are devised and implemented that work for businesses and our economy.”