Industry bosses hit back at Government's new immigration system

Industry bosses in London have hit back at the Government's newly announced immigration system.

Under the new rules visas will be denied for low-skilled workers earning below a certain amount and a new points-based system will come into force from next year.

The government said it would bring down the number of low-paid EU workers coming to the UK and instead focus on bringing in the "bright and best."

But some business owners say the law is insulting to their current workers.

I'm extremely disappointed with the terminology being used, for example they say it's cheap labour or it's low skilled labour. I think it's actually insulting to my ladies here. They are highly skilled. Whether or not it falls into the category of what the government believes - they should come round here and look at the girls and how they're working.

JENNY HOLLOWAY, Chief executive, Fashion Enter

Under new rules that come into effect from January next year a migrant needs 70 points to apply to work in the UK. Different characteristics get you different points to take you closer to that number.

  • Speaking English at a level required for the job you're going to is worth 10 points

  • Job offers with a salary of at least £25,600 are worth 20

  • A job in a designated shortage occupation such as nursing or architecture is also worth 20

Lawyers have urged the Government not to turn the tap off overnight if it becomes harder for employers to hire workers under the new points-based system.

Partners at immigration law firm Fragomen LLP made the plea as they called for the "ridiculously expensive" visa system to be made cheaper.

Ian Robinson, a partner at the firm's London office and a former economic migration policy official at the Home Office, said:

If it comes to a point where it is harder to access labour then don't turn off the tap overnight. Give people time to adjust. Please make the system cheaper - it is just ridiculously expensive.

Ian Robinson, immigration expert