Tier 2 work permit holders 'not filling priority positions'

15 Mar 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The majority of migrants with Tier 2 work permits have not taken up positions which meet national priorities.

This is according to a recent review of the Points Based System for UK immigration as introduced by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) in 2008.

The National Audit Office (NAO) conducted the study, which also found that the employers were keen to be able to recruit more Tier 2 work permit holders from overseas than they are currently able to do so.

Furthermore, sponsors of migrants were also willing to pay more in order to receive better customer service from the UKBA, citing problems with information and assistance as issues with the current level of service.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said that the UKBA Points Based System is "not yet delivering its full potential for value for money".

However, he added: "Implementing the radical changes planned for the system in 2011-12 will enable the agency to reconsider its priorities and improve customer service and its assurance over control systems."

Damian Green, the UK immigration minister, echoed this sentiment, explaining that he is committed to making improvements.

"This report is exactly why we are making radical reforms to the system, including the introduction of an annual limit on economic migrants, sweeping changes to the student visa system, and a shake-up of the family and settlement route," said Mr Green.

The comments come ahead of April's changes to the Tier 2 work permit route, which will see the number of permits reduced to 20,700 a year, with monthly limits enforced.