Westminster Legal Policy Forum

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Next steps for UK immigration policy

points-based immigration system | international student migration | Graduate route & the UK labour market | aligning policy with economic objectives | supporting sector labour shortages & tackling exploitation

Morning, Thursday, 26th September 2024

Online


This conference is bringing together policymakers and stakeholders to examine the future for immigration policy in the UK.


It will be an early opportunity to consider priorities for policy in the new Parliament.


The agenda includes a focus on the impact of the points-based immigration system, potential options for reform, and how the immigration system can best be utilised to support the UK labour market.


Delegates will discuss key issues and implementation so far of changes to legal migration rules for family and work visas announced by government in December 2023, with restrictions on dependents coming to the UK and increases in the baseline minimum salary to be sponsored for a Skilled Work Visa.


Potential impacts on key sectors, including health and social care, will be discussed as well as how they can be addressed.


Further areas for discussion include priorities for tackling labour exploitation, minimising risks of deception and ensuring workers are fully informed of the nature of the work.


The conference also follows the Migration Advisory Committee’s Graduate route: rapid review looking at who is using the route, their activities during and after the route and the impact on international student numbers and the UK economy. With the MAC reporting no evidence of abuse and recommending the continuation of the route, further sessions in the agenda will explore the future of international student migration, including employment in the UK job market post-graduation.


We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Philippa Rouse, Director, Migration and Citizenship and Senior Responsible Officer, Future Border and Immigration System Programme, Home Office; Professor Brian Bell, Chair, Migration Advisory Committee; and Dr Madeleine Sumption, Director, Migration Observatory.


Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • the UK points-based immigration system:
    • the current system: assessing immigration strategy - recent migration trends - priorities for developing immigration policy to meet long and short-term economic objectives
    • impact: how the points-based system has impacted the economy and user experience of immigration
    • key issues for future policy: options for reform of the points-based system - what is needed for a joined-up approach to immigration linked to skills needs - approaches to effective development and implementation
  • international student migration:
    • impact on students: how changes to student visas would impact international students in terms of the accessibility and experience of HE
    • post-graduation employment: assessing recent trends and the impact of international students on UK labour markets - how the UK can strike a balance with student migration to support the economy
    • policy: the future of the Graduate Route following the MAC’s Review and options for policy in the new parliament
  • UK labour market:
    • labour shortages: assessing the role and effectiveness of the shortage occupation list - priorities for alleviating pressures in sectors such as hospitality, agriculture, and health and social care
    • policy options: what is needed for immigration policy and practice to best tackle labour shortages, including short-term and seasonal work options
    • tackling labour exploitation: improving identification, inspection and enforcement capacity - incentivising proactive cooperation from high-risk industries and employers - options for further regulation
    • supporting victims: empowering exploited workers to seek support - considering incentives and drivers behind behaviour
    • impact on businesses: considering the complexity of the system and its impact on user experience and accessibility for SMEs - exploring collaborative frameworks between businesses and government


Keynote Speakers

Professor Brian Bell

Chair, Migration Advisory Committee

Dr Madeleine Sumption

Director, Migration Observatory

Philippa Rouse

Director, Migration and Citizenship, and Senior Responsible Officer, Future Border and Immigration System Programme, Home Office

Keynote Speakers

Professor Brian Bell

Chair, Migration Advisory Committee

Dr Madeleine Sumption

Director, Migration Observatory

Philippa Rouse

Director, Migration and Citizenship, and Senior Responsible Officer, Future Border and Immigration System Programme, Home Office

Speakers

Stephen Isherwood

Joint CEO, Institute of Student Employers

Eve Livett

CEO, The Association of Brickwork Contractors

Anne-Marie Graham

Chief Executive, UK Council for International Student Affairs

Senior speaker confirmed from Joint Council of the Welfare of Immigrants

Diana Baxter

Partner, Wesley Gryk

Alp Mehmet

Chairman, Migration Watch UK

David Camp

Chair, Association of Labour Providers

Senior speaker confirmed from University of Edinburgh

Sonali Naik KC

Garden Court Chambers