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Britain cracks down on foreign jobseekers

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Author Topic: Britain cracks down on foreign jobseekers  (Read 115 times)
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« on: November 12, 2009, 12:35:32 pm »
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PROFESSIONAL workers from Australia and other countries outside the European Union wanting to find a job in Britain will face even tougher restrictions from 2010.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has outlined a series of proposed reforms to Britain's points-based immigration system, which is based on the one developed in Australia.

Under the latest crackdown, Mr Brown wants professionals - including doctors, engineers and hospital consultants, skilled chefs and care workers - to be removed from the list of workers eligible to apply for jobs.

Rules for foreign students applying for visas to study in the UK will also be tightened.

Mr Brown said that while immigrants had brought immeasurable benefits to Britain, changes to the system were needed in order to protect jobs for local workers.

The changes come after the government earlier this year dumped 30,000 occupations from its list of jobs eligible skilled migrants could apply for in Britain.

"Over the coming months we will remove more occupations and thousands more posts from the list of those eligible for entry under the points-based system," Mr Brown said in a speech in London.

"As (economic) growth returns I want to see rising levels of skills, wages and employment among those resident here rather than employers having to recruiting from abroad."

Mr Brown said foreign students would also be subject to the latest crackdown.

He announced a review of foreign student visas by government agencies to determine whether there was a case for "raising the minimum level of (a study) course for which they can obtain a visa".

Mandatory English language tests for foreign students signing up for courses other than English ones are also to be considered along with new rules for those with part-time jobs.

Mr Brown said he was concerned about foreign students on lower-qualification courses working part-time in jobs that "would be better filled by young, British workers".

The planned changes to student visas were attacked by the Immigration Advisory Service's head Keith Best.

He said many British universities and colleges relied on half their income from fees paid by foreign students and could be "in very serious trouble" if that income stream was cut off.

He told the BBC that Britain already faced stiff competition from universities in countries such as Australia, which were actively recruiting foreign students.

The changes announced by the prime minister come amid growing debate in Britain over its immigration levels while the country remains mired in recession.

In an interview with the Daily Mail newspaper before he gave his speech, Mr Brown said he understood people's concerns about the impact of a rising population on employment, wages and housing costs.

"I know people worry about whether immigration undermines their wages and the job prospects of their children and they also worry about whether they will get a decent home for their families," he said.

"They want to be assured that the system is tough and fair.

"They want to be assured that newcomers to the country will accept their responsibilities ... obey all the laws, speaking English is important, making a contribution."

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