Last update12:57:32 PM


New visa levy could affect businesses


The UK government announced in the Queen's speech a proposed new immigration bill. It stated it would try to make it illegal for businesses to recruit just from abroad alone without advertising those jobs in English in the UK.

Within the proposed laws in the bill, the UK government plans to launch a consultation process on the introduction of a new visa levy on businesses recruiting from abroad.

Businesses employing foreign labour will have to pay a new visa levy which will be used to fund apprenticeship schemes for British workers.

The government has stated 'A consultation will be carried out on funding apprenticeship schemes for British and EU workers by implementing a new visa levy on businesses that use foreign labour.'

It is not known when the scheme will be branched out, however, if the proposed visa levy is imposed it could impact workers being hired from countries outside the EU.

David Cameron announced 3 million more apprenticeships over the next five years and a new law to ensure the minimum wage remains tax free, however many young apprentices are missing out on the minimum wage and applications for apprenticeships were at a high of 1.8 million for only 166,000 posts last year.

This is not the first time the current government has introduced additional visa fees, for example through the health surcharge, charging migrants to gain access to the NHS in the visa application, even though migrants use the service less frequently.

A million ethnic minority votes helped put David Cameron into No10


New research from British Future suggests a shift in BME voting patterns in the UK General Elections, with the Conservatives closing the gap on Labour on ethnic minority votes in particular because of British Asians and those in the South of England.

In the 2010 elections, Labour secured 68% of ethnic minority votes and the Conservatives, on the other hand, secured only 16%.

In the 2015 elections, Labour support remained in the lead amongst BME voters on 52%, however, the gap has narrowed and the Conservatives took a third (33%) of ethnic minority votes in the General Election, equating to around 1 million votes, in part due to the Asian vote, particularly Hindus.

Asian support this election was at 50% for Labour and 38% for Conservatives. The evidence suggested that while BME Christians and Muslims preferred Labour to the Conservatives, Hindus and Sikhs preferred the Conservatives to Labour. The Tories received 49% of the Hindu and Sikh community vote, with Labour on 41%.

Sunder Katwala, director of British Future, said "Ethnic minority votes are more ‘up for grabs’ than ever before. Labour remains ahead with minority voters, but the party may have won too many of its minority votes in the wrong places electorally – doubling majorities in heartland urban seats that were already safe but slipping in the southern marginals."

While Labour may be hopeful of winning these votes back in 2020, Omar Khan, director of the Runnymede Trust added "with more and more BME people moving outside the major cities the Conservatives appear well placed to make further gains in 2020 and beyond if they can respond to ethnic inequalities and realise BME aspirations while in government."

Record number of foreign firms creating jobs in London


New research by London & Partners, the Mayor’s business and promotional company, has revealed a record number of foreign firms coming to London to start business.

Gordon Innes, chief executive of London & Partners, has said 'Over the last decade foreign investment in London has gone through the roof and the tech sector is now leading the way'

There has been a large rise of job creation by foreign tech companies as well as financial and business services and the life sciences industry.

A total of 270 different companies have been set up, creating around 5000 jobs in the capital.

Within this, this year, Indian companies are the second largest job creators in London, creating 504 jobs, second only to Americans who have created 1,983 jobs. Chinese companies have created around 277 jobs. Foreign firms in London include forefront global companies such as Pfizer and Tata Elxsi.

Ten years ago only 26 companies moved to London, and in the last financial year a record 108 companies have set up shop in the capital.

Indian students in the UK fallen by 50% since 2010


Research by London First and Price Waterhouse Coopers has revealed that the number of Indian students travelling to the UK to study as international students has fallen by 50% since 2010.

Since the closure of the Tier 1 (post study work) visa route in 2012, which allowed students to remain without sponsorship in the UK for two years to seek employment, alternative visa routes and scholarships have been unable to address the issues.

Since the closure of the Tier 1 (post study work) visa route, there has been a decrease of 88% in the number of students securing visas after university.

While the number of Indian students has fallen by 50%, the number of Chinese international students has increased by more than 50%.

International students have contributed over £2.8 billion pounds to the country while only consuming £540 million. 

Read more about the report on International Students at Migreat

Ethnic minorities are more likely to secure professional and managerial roles


UK government figures have revealed that ethnic minorities are more likely to secure elite professional and managerial roles, the Sunday Times has reported. An analysis of data from the 2011 census has indicated that 10.3% of minorities are likely to hold these postions against 9.8% if you are White British. 

Within this, those of Indian origin are the most successful in holding these Class 1 positions, with 15.4% in high managerial, administrative jobs as well as professions such as doctors and lawyers. This is followed by those of Chinese origin at 12.8%. However only 6.6% of Pakistanis and 4.2% of Bangladeshis are in Class 1 and black Africans and black Carribeans are only at 7.5 and 6.2% respectively.

The results form part of a report by Demos as part of the launch of their Integration Hub (DIH), to be released later in the week. It found that half of Bangladeshi men worked in restaurants, one quarter of Pakistani men were taxi drivers and 41% of doctors come from ethnic minority backgrounds. 

Trevor Phillips, the former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said the statistics told a “good story about modern Britain and that diversity is actually adding to our stock of talent".

The report paints a picture of the strides that equality has taken, as well as the inequalities which need to be addressed.