30 March 2008

China Business Expert Urges Rethink on Skilled Worker Policy.

Speaking in a recent BBC World Service discussion with business people including fellow Cambridge-based business guru Dr Peter Hewkin, China Business expert and CEO of China Business Solutions Ting Zhang expressed concern that newly introduced rules on control of migrant skilled workers could damage UK competitiveness.

Non EU workers’ right to work and stay in the UK will in future be determined by a points system based on qualifications, age, earnings and UK experience.

Ting Zhang said “While of course some regulation is necessary, it does not seem logical to judge a person on their current salary which may be heavily sector-dependent.

But still more difficult to understand is why the age of 32? the cut-off age at which fewer points are to be awarded under the new rules – is so significant.

At a time when the UK government is emphasising the contribution to the economy by people of all ages and in particular more mature and experienced older people, it seems illogical to introduce such an arbitrary figure.”

Ms Zhang concluded: “In theory this is designed to attract more highly skilled people from outside the EU.  The UK depends heavily on its knowledge-based economy to maintain its position globally, and it must continue to attract the very best highly skilled workers, particularly from the world?s great emerging economic superpowers such as India and China.

In practice not only could the new scheme severely limit the quality of those who might apply, it may actually exclude many key staff already working in the UK and making a great contribution to the success of the UK economy.”