The HTA has cautiously welcomed the findings of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report on A Points-Based System and Salary Thresholds for Immigration, which was published on 28 January 2020.
Within the report, the committee recommends that the salary threshold for immigrants is reduced by more than £4,000 to £26,600. Currently, skilled migrants from outside the EU need to have a job offer with a minimum salary of £30,000.
The report also states that an Australian style points-based system is just one part of a wider immigration system which should only be used in relation to attracting medium to high skilled migrants to join the UK workforce.
Commenting on the report, Martin Emmett, Chair of the HTA Ornamentals Committee said: “It's encouraging that the MAC report findings recognise the need for reduced salary thresholds in order to fill full-time vacancies with overseas workers.
"However, the thresholds need to be even lower in order to recruit for horticultural supervisory roles. It is also important that the ornamental sector is not excluded in any ‘agriculture’ sector provision. Horticulture makes such a significant contribution to the UK economy and the environment and any future growth is dependent on having a sufficient and skilled workforce to allow for its expansion.”
The Government will now consider the findings of the report before introducing their post-Brexit immigration system for introduction into the UK in 2021 ahead of the deadline it has imposed to agree a trade deal with the EU by the end of 2020.