Boris Johnson’s new points-based immigration system could impact on Britain’s Jewish community.
Security guards and care workers are among EU migrants currently working at a plethora of Jewish organisations.
The new system begins in January 2021 in a bid to cut the number of migrants coming to the UK but unskilled immigrants will be at risk of getting visas under the government’s model launched this week.
Points will be awarded to applicants based on specific skills, qualifications, English speaking ability, professions and the command a salary of at least £26,500 a year.
The Government’s plan will grant visas to “highly-skilled” scientists and researchers however the Australian-style approach will hit industries including care and security sectors.
Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman has voiced concerns it may have a direct impact.
“Many of the security guards and care workers the Jewish community employs are EU migrants,” she explained in a statement. “The new rules will make it much harder to attract new workers, meaning that costs for organisations which provide security and social care for our community are likely to rise.
“We have relayed these concerns to officials at the Department for Exiting the EU and the Home Office, and is continuing to engage with the Home Office to ensure these issues are taken into account when the new policies come into effect.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel described the system as a “historic moment” for the country.
“We’re ending free movement, taking back control of our borders and delivering on the people’s priorities by introducing a new UK points-based immigration system, which will bring overall migration numbers down,” she noted. “We will attract the brightest and the best from around the globe, boosting the economy and our communities, and unleash this country’s full potential.”
Business leaders though have warned of staffing issues.
Dame Donna Kinnair, Royal College of Nursing, said the proposals will not meet health and care needs of the population
“They close the door to lower-paid healthcare support workers and care assistants from overseas who currently fill significant numbers of posts in the health and care workforce,” she explained.
The UK Homecare Association, who represent care providers, are “dismayed” by the decision.
The Federation of Small Businesses back a points-based model if it is “easy to use and affordable”.
But Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, warned that many jobs in the care and construction sectors might not meet skill requirements but were essential for the economy and society.
Carolyn Fairbairn of the Confederation of British Industry added that it was essential to get a new system right on ‘day one’ as it would hit economic growth.
“The Government must work with employers and employees, especially smaller firms, to ensure they have the time to adapt to new policies and practices,” she said.