Committee hear implications of Government's immigration plans for Scottish economy

11 February 2019

Following the publication of the Government’s white paper on the future skills-based immigration system, the Scottish Affairs Committee examine how the proposals will affect the workforce of key sectors in Scotland in a special session with three panels of witnesses.

Purpose of the session

In 2018, the Scottish Affairs Committee held an inquiry into Immigration and Scotland and published a report in July 2018, which the Government is still yet to respond to. The Committee will now follow up on this work with a session examining the Government’s white paper immigration proposals and what they might mean for key sectors in Scotland. The white paper, which is out for consultation for a year, proposes to make it easier for high skilled workers to migrate to the UK than low skilled workers by setting up a two-stream immigration system. 

Government's proposals

In the first panel, the Committee hear from representatives of FSB Scotland and CBI Scotland on the implications for Scottish businesses of white paper proposals such as the £30,000 salary threshold for Tier 2 migrants and the need for employer sponsorship. The Committee also ask how the shortage occupations specific to Scotland can be accounted for in future immigration policy. 

Witnesses from trade bodies representing keys sectors of the Scottish economy where most workers won’t meet the £30,000 salary threshold, including care, tourism and food and drink, appear on the second panel to speak about how the proposed two-stream immigration would impact on their workforces and whether, they would like to see specific schemes introduced to their labour needs. 

In the final panel, the Committee hear from representatives of the University of Stirling and the University of Glasgow on how the Government’s changes to post-study work arrangements for students after they graduate will affect Scotland’s ability to attract international students. The Committee also ask for their views on the effect of the immigration proposals on the academic workforce in Scotland. 


Tuesday 12 February 2019, Committee Room 5

At 10.15am - Business Groups

  • Barry McCulloch, Senior Policy Advisor, FSB Scotland
  • Gregor Scotland, Principal Policy Advisor, CBI Scotland

At 11.15am - Sectors Groups

  • Angela Coleshill, Director for Competitiveness, Food and Drink Federation
  • Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive, Scottish Care
  • Marc Crothall, Chief Executive Scottish Tourism Alliance

At 12.15am - Higher Education

  • Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal of the University of Stirling and Vice-Convener of Universities Scotland
  • Miss Rachel Sandison, Vice Principal, External Relations at the University of Glasgow

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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