International talent pool out of reach for most Scottish employers

An urgent review of business immigration rules has been called for after the UK-wide cap on the number of foreign workers was breached for the sixth successive month.  Currently the rules allow for a total of 20,700 workers from overseas to be employer-sponsored for UK visas each year. That figure is broken down into monthly allocations and if the breached, the Home Office uses a points scoring mechanism based on salary to decide on applications.  The salary cut off was recently raised to £60,000 – more than double the average wage in Scotland – meaning that many firms cannot afford to recruit from the international talent pool.  The effect is that overseas candidates who meet all other eligibility criteria for a work-sponsored visa are being denied their request simply on the grounds of earnings alone.    Many business agencies have commented that the demand for companies to pay salaries for overseas workers that are double the UK’s average wage is simply unaffordable.

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