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Migrant Workers: Fisheries

Question for Home Office

UIN 75166, tabled on 15 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent progress her Department has made on offering migrant working status for people working in the fishing industry.

Answered on

23 November 2021

It is important businesses make jobs more attractive to UK workers by improving training, career pathways, pay and working conditions rather than relying on recruitment overseas.

Acting upon advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the Government broadened out the skills threshold of the Skilled Worker route and introduced a lower salary threshold which – as modelling by the MAC suggests – strikes a reasonable balance between access to labour and controlling immigration. Eligible occupations under this route now include engine room attendants; ferryman; merchant seaman and seaman and employers can now recruit these roles globally provided the relevant salary and English language requirements are met.

Furthermore, recognising the important role Deckhands play in the sector, the Government accepted the MAC’s recommendation to recognise them as an RQF3 level role (for vessels over 9m and for individuals to have at least 3 year’s experience in using their skills) which therefore qualifies for recruitment under the Skilled Worker Route.

Finally, if a foreign national is coming to work within 12 nautical miles of the UK, or the UK landmass itself, then they will need to apply for a visa to work on one of the UK’s work routes. Conversely, if they are working solely outside of the 12 nautical miles then a work visa is not required.

Answered by

Home Office