The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) today published its recommendations to government on immigration policy post #Brexit. Instead of the government’s recommended £30,000, the MAC is proposing a lower income threshold of £25,600, below which a person cannot move to the UK for work.

The MAC acknowledges that the points-based immigration system will negatively impact on industries which rely more on low skilled migration, however the report stops short of recommending a temporary worker visa to help address major skills shortages across the economy, instead suggesting it as an option open to government.

The REC agrees with many of the recommendations but maintain there must be a temporary visa route that allows businesses to recruit the skills they need.

The REC’s JobsOutlook  survey in December showed employer confidence in making hiring decisions hit its lowest point since mid-2016, with half of employers worried about skills shortages for permanent staff. Skills shortages are especially severe among lower paid jobs such as carers, agricultural workers and drivers.

Tom Hadley, Director of Policy at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said:

“The changes to the tier 2 visa system the MAC are suggesting will help businesses succeed post-Brexit, supporting jobs and economic growth in the UK. We hope the government takes them on board. It’s good news that the MAC is recommending ways of making the Tier 2 system better for employers and workers. Allowing more people from medium-skilled occupations to apply, abolishing caps on numbers of workers that can come in and proposing to get rid of the resident labour market test all make sense. So does lowering the income threshold, however we think the threshold should be even lower to address the skills needs of businesses who need labour at all pay levels.

“Skills shortages are one of the biggest problems facing the UK economy. We need an immigration system that can solve this. For food to be produced, for goods to be delivered and for our NHS to continue to be the best in the world. A flexible route into the country for temporary workers of all skill levels means that workers can move into sectors and geographies where they are needed without being tied to a particular employer. For instance, drivers can support our hospitality or retail sect depending where there is demand.”

Deputy Chief Executive Julian Gravatt said: 

"The Migration Advisory Committee's report is a detailed piece of work on a complicated subject. AoC shares the committee's aim that government policy should aim to ensure that the UK should have a high wage, high skill and high productivity economy. The government's plans to introduce new migration rules will require investment by employers, individuals and government itself to avoid new skills shortages.

"AoC welcomes the committee's recommendation that the salary threshold for the skilled worker route should be set at £25,600 rather than £30,000 and that the rules for new entrants should be more flexible. The committee express concern that the data in this area is limited and say there is a risk that decisions will be taken and then changed at short notice in response to unexpected developments.

"The government's plans involve a massive change for employers only 3% of whom currently have sponsor licences [30000 out of 1 million]. There is a risk that bringing in the rules and new systems too quickly in 2021 will cause unnecessary and unhelpful disruption to people, companies and public services."

Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said:

“As we leave the EU, it is vital that the UK remains a world leader in science and research and is open and welcoming to global talent to maximise universities’ positive impact on the UK economy and society. Some of the MAC recommendations are a step in the right direction, recognising the importance of employer demand but concluding the skilled entry route needs reform.

“While there is welcome recognition that the salary threshold of £30k was too high, there should be a further reduction to attract the diverse workforce, including lab technicians and language assistants, who are vital to supporting the success of our universities. We are also concerned that standard salary levels in higher education sectors would no longer be recognised, meaning it will be harder to attract international talent into key lecturer roles. Our recent polling showed the British public overwhelmingly believe that immigrants should be welcomed into the country on the strength of their skills and potential and not be judged on their salary alone.

“Combined with the recently announced changes to Tier 1 a package of positive immigration reforms is developing but needs further improvement. The Government must ensure that new immigration arrangements avoid potential unintended negative consequences for the ability of universities to attract the brightest talent with minimal barriers and to continue our world leading research and teaching.”

Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report: points-based system and salary thresholds

The MAC responds to the Home Secretary's commission into a points-based system and salary thresholds for immigration.


A Points-Based System and Salary Thresholds for Immigration: report

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

A Points-Based System and Salary Thresholds for Immigration: annexes

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

The fiscal contribution of EU migrants - update and scenario analysis: Oxford Economics report

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.


This report responds to the request from the Home Secretary to the MAC to consider how a points-based system immigration system could be introduced in the UK to strengthen the UK labour market.

The MAC has also responded to the commission from the Home Secretary to review salary thresholds for the future immigration system.

The MAC is also publishing a report commissioned from external researchers, Oxford Economics, to extend their evidence base.

Read Professor Manning’s letter to the Home Secretary introducing the committee’s report.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Jo Moriani added a new event 8 hours

Succeeding at your Ofsted New Provider Monitoring Visit...

Overview This webinar will tell you all you need to know about how to try and ensure you succeed at your first Ofsted New Provider Monitoring Visit...

  • Wednesday, 17 March 2021 10:00 AM
  • Online

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page