Commenting on the ministerial response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s Tier 2 review, Marcus Mason, Head of Business, Education and Skills at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“We are disappointed that the government has accepted the recommendation to introduce the Immigration Skills Charge, and other measures from the Migration Advisory Committee. These measures are bad news for business and will damage the UK’s reputation as a global business hub.

“Businesses are reporting severe recruitment difficulties, especially for highly-skilled and specialised positions, and it makes no sense to slap new charges on firms that need to recruit from overseas – often because they are left with little alternative due to skills gaps here at home.

“The government must now consider how the Surcharge interacts with other policies, particularly as businesses face so many upfront costs already, such as the apprenticeship levy, pensions auto-enrolment, and the national living wage.”