Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 17:20 UK

Statutory Instruments Committee

The security minister Baroness Neville-Jones has said that certain skilled workers will be exempted from new rules on immigration.

The House of Lords Committee on Statutory Instruments Committee was holding a hearing on 13 July following an announcement by the Home Secretary of a cap on immigration by non-EU nationals.

A 12-week consultation procedure is underway to finalise how the new rules will be imposed.

Migrants from outside the EU currently apply under one of five "tiers" that make up the points based system of immigration.

The tiers cover professional migrants (eg doctors), sponsored skilled workers, low-skilled workers, students and temporary workers.

The Home Secretary has announced that a cap will be introduced from 2011 and the points required to gain entry at certain tiers will be raised.

However Baroness Neville-Jones admitted that she was keen to prevent a situation where new rules meant that certain "scarce" skills would be eliminated from the UK.

She highlighted concerns in the agriculture sector and told Peers that foreign sheep shearers could be exempted from the rule change.

Ahead of a permanent cap, the government has announced that a temporary limit will be introduced, limiting the number of workers to 24,100 - down around 5% - between now and June 2011.

The Lords Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee takes evidence on statutory instruments that are subject to parliamentary procedure.

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