According to an article in the Financial Times, a report produced by the Migration Observatory at Oxford University has stated that hospitality, agriculture, construction and manufacturing industries will be competing against each other to attract and obtain low-skilled migrant workers as a result of tighter border controls initiated by Brexit. The Home Office, a ministerial department of the UK responsible for immigration, security and law and order, has not yet revealed what the new immigration system will look like, but ministers have made clear they will prioritise highly-skilled workers, who could be managed under a work permit system and not the low and middle-skilled sectors. Globally, the definitions of “skilled” and “unskilled” vary widely. In the US and UK skilled work visas are usually for graduate-level jobs such as engineers and doctors, while Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Norway define “skilled” to include tradespeople and people with sub-degree vocational qualifications. Whilst the European Commission may oppose bilateral agreements, other EU countries do have a variety of arrangements in place with non-EU countries and the report suggests there could be a role for such bilateral agreements with specific EU countries where there is a significant flow of migrants, such as Poland and Spain. In response to the Report, the Home Office has stated “the majority” of voters made clear during the referendum that they wanted the UK to “take back control” of immigration. “This government will deliver on that by building an immigration system that works for everyone.”
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