Commenting on the release of the Migration Advisory Committee’s report on the UK’s immigration system published today, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber), said:
“Businesses want a flexible immigration system that provides access to the staff they need, without costly delays or red tape.
“Whilst the MAC report acknowledges ‘Northern Ireland’s unique position as the only part of the UK with a land border with the EU and a labour market more distinct from the rest of the UK’, it has failed to take this fully into account when making recommendations.
“Although the salary threshold has been reduced, it is extremely disappointing that it remains high and not specific to Northern Ireland. The recommendations made by local businesses and business groups throughout two years of consultation have been ignored. This risks limiting access to skills for many of our members across a wide-range of sectors.
“While companies are investing more in home-grown skills, they will continue to need access to migrant skills at all levels for the foreseeable future. We will therefore continue to engage with the MAC to ensure that they give the regional rate the future consideration that they refer to in the report.”