Page last updated at 16:04 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 17:04 UK

Jobs 'to be posted longer in UK'

Immigration officer at Heathrow
The Tories have said Labour is floundering on immigration

Employers will have to advertise jobs to UK workers for at least a month before they can be offered overseas, the government has announced.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said that from next year the legal minimum period to post vacancies on Jobcentre Plus would be doubled from two weeks.

He added that this meant non-EU workers could not be used as a "cheaper alternative" to those from the UK.

But the Tories said Labour was "overselling" the changes.

The number of overseas-born workers in the UK reached 3.8 million last year.

In a speech, Mr Johnson said the government had accepted all the recommendations made recently by its Migration Advisory Committee.

Longer qualification

He announced the minimum salary to allow someone from overseas to qualify as a skilled worker in the UK would rise from £17,000 to £20,000.

The minimum qualification period for non-EU workers transferring to a company's UK base would increase from six months to a year, Mr Johnson added.

The Home Office estimates that one in 10 of the non-EU workers given permits last year would be excluded under the new rules.

Mr Johnson said: "These changes will ensure that businesses can recruit the skilled foreign workers that the economy needs, but not at the expense of British workers, nor as a cheaper alternative to investing in the skills of the existing workforce."

The UK introduced a points-based immigration system earlier this year.

Under this, employers can only recruit "skilled" workers from non-EU countries if they cannot fill a vacancy or the occupation is on a list of shortage occupations.

The Conservatives have called for an annual cap on non-EU migrants.

Shadow immigration minister Damian Green said: "The home secretary should stop overselling what are pretty minor changes. The idea that this would cut work permits by 10% is just a fantasy figure.

"The way to control work permits is to have an annual limit, which the government short-sightedly refuses to introduce."

Print Sponsor

Migration points 'need changes'
19 Aug 09 |  UK Politics
Jobs 'to be promoted in UK first'
19 Jan 09 |  UK Politics
Migrants face tighter work rules
22 Feb 09 |  UK Politics

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Economictimes UK work window for IT professionals turns smaller - 9 hrs ago

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific