Four-fifths of EU migrants ‘would fail post-Brexit visa tests’

Organisations in some industries could face major challenges to their usual recruitment routes if Britain leaves the EU, researchers from the University of Oxford have warned.eu flag

The University of Oxford’s Migration Observatory unit has released analysis of official data showing the extent to which different sectors would be able to hire migrants under rules currently used for non-EU citizens.

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The Migration Observatory said that while the policies that would follow a leave vote were unknown, its data helped draw broad conclusions about which industries would face the greatest implications if admission requirements were drawn up.

Its analysis of official Labour Force Survey statistics from 2015 showed that more than one in five EU migrants working in the UK last year were in the ‘distribution, hotels and restaurants’ sector.

Yet only six percent of all employees in that sector were earning at least £20,000 and in a ‘graduate job’ as broadly required to qualify for the Tier 2 visa chiefly used by non-EU labour migrants.

A further 15 percent of EU migrants working in the UK were in the manufacturing industry, where just one in four of the sector’s overall workforce met the broad criteria for Tier 2 migration.

Overall, only one in five of those born outside the UK in EU countries and working in the UK last year were in a skilled job earning more than £20,000, according to the report.

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