Managing Migration: Thirteenth Report of Session 2008-09 - Report Together with Formal Minutes v. 1: The Points Based System - HC Session 2008-09, 217-I (Paperback)
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In the context of the current economic climate, it is all the more important that the Points Based System for immigration is able to respond flexibly to changing economic and labour market needs and that the process of assessing shortages and awarding points for skills is accurate, fair and transparent. The practical implementation of the Points Based System for managed migration has, on the whole, received a cautious welcome, in particular for the emphasis it places on transparent and objective criteria. However, several key structures on which the system is built require further consideration, most notably: the calibration of points; the shortage occupation lists; compliance responsibilities placed on sponsors; and the introduction of administrative review. Measuring skill by awarding points for criteria such as past earnings or academic qualifications gives undue priority to easily-quantifiable attributes and ignores ability or experience in a job. The overemphasis on formal qualifications at the expense of professional experience or training is arbitrary and unfair. The shortage occupation lists should be used only to provide flexibility for short term or cyclical shortages; to this end the Government should consider updating the lists on a more frequent, or rolling, basis. There is clearly great nervousness amongst sponsors over the possible penalties attached to any failure, even unwitting, to report changes in circumstance of their migrants. The Government needs to clarify this area. Specific problems with the implementation of the system in certain industries are also reviewed. The accompanying "Managing Migration: The Points Based System - Volume II: Oral and Written Evidence (HC 217-II)" (ISBN 9780215540669) is available to buy separately.
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