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Immigration Controls: Foreign Workers

Volume 502: debated on Monday 7 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what effects changes in the labour market test for obtaining a work permit have had on the number of domestic workers (a) applying for and (b) obtaining jobs in the UK. (301223)

The flexibility of the points-based system allows us to support UK workers and at the same time meet the recruitment needs of businesses and support the economy. Since April this year, the RLMT has been strengthened to include a requirement to advertise skilled jobs in Jobcentre Plus, so that resident workers have a single source—their local job centre—to access all skilled vacancies. This strengthening of the resident labour market test was introduced to better support resident workers looking for skilled jobs. I announced on 24 November that, on the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendation the test would be further strengthened by increasing from two weeks to four weeks the minimum period that jobs must be advertised in order to satisfy the test. No formal assessment of the impact of the changes has yet been undertaken.