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Work Permits

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people with Tier One work permits renewed their visa in each year from 1997 to 2002. [116065]

The number of Tier One work permit extensions issued since 2000 (the earliest date for which data is held) is as follows:2000 11,6132001 19,8302002 27,010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the annual budget is of Work Permits UK; how many staff it employs; how much it will spend this year on marketing its services within the UK; and how many work permits it is empowered to issue each year. [116885]

The budget allocation for Work Permits (UK) for the financial year 2003/2004 depends on the outcome of continuing discussions between the Home Office and the Treasury. However, from 1 April 2003, employers are charged £95 for the consideration of each work permit application and this will enable WP (UK) to recover a large part of the cost of running the organisation, plus relevant Home Office overheads. Apart from the new Sectors Based Scheme, which is subject to a quota 20,000 permits, the work permit service is demand-led and responds to the needs of UK employers to recruit overseas workers. Staffing levels within WP (UK) are set according to this demand. WP (UK) currently employs 480 staff.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to extend the number of work permits for the leisure and hospitality industry. [118351]

Following my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget Statement, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced a number of ways in which it intends to maximise benefits to the UK economy of managed migration routes to fill skills shortages and improve productivity. This includes the new sector-based work permit scheme which began on 30 May 2003 and will operate in the hospitality and food manufacturing sectors. Each sector will have a quota of 10,000 permits. Following consultation, these sectors were identified as having labour needs that could not be met by the United Kingdom or the European Economic Area workforce.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many work permits were issued for non-EU residents for the leisure and hospitality industry in each year since 1999. [118352]

The following figures are all approved work permit applications in the hospitality sector for the years in question:

YearHospitality sector
19991,027
20002,046
20015,379
200212,136
2003(January-May)6,029
Separate figures are not available for the leisure sector.