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UK to review visa schemes to ease labour shortages

26 Sep 2022 00:00:00 | Update: 26 Sep 2022 00:47:14
UK to review visa schemes to ease labour shortages

British Prime Minister Liz Truss is set to launch a major review of the country’s visa system in a move to tackle acute labour shortages in key industries, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

The prime minister is set to defy some of her anti-immigration cabinet colleagues by making changes to the “shortage occupation list”, allowing certain industries to bring in more staff — such as broadband engineers — from overseas, the newspaper said, Reuters reports citing the Financial Times.

The review could also endorse a loosening of the requirement to speak English in some sectors to enable more foreign workers into the country, the report said, citing a Downing Street official.

Asked about the idea that immigration rules might be relaxed, UK finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng told the BBC on Sunday: “It’s not about relaxing rules. The whole point about the Brexit debate if we want to go down there was we need to control immigration in a way that works for the UK.”

Asked if more occupations would be added to the list of people who could come in, Kwarteng said that the interior minister would give an update in the coming weeks, as he had flagged on Friday.