UK delegation visits Dhaka Oct 6-9
Monday, 06 October 2008

Examines impact of points based migration system

Staff Correspondent

A parliamentary delegation from the UK's Home Affairs Committee will visit Bangladesh from October 6 to 9.

The delegation, headed by Keith Vaz MP, will visit Dhaka and Sylhet to examine the impact of the newly introduced points-based system for migration to Britain, said a statement issued by the British High Commission in Dhaka on Sunday.
"The delegation will consult key stakeholders and users of the visa system and will also call on the foreign affairs adviser and home affairs adviser," the high commisison said.
The delegation will also visit India for a similar purpose, the statement said.
"It is vital that the government effectively manages migration to and from the UK to meet the demands of our economy and manage pressures on our labour market.
"We therefore wish to examine the (UK) government's plans for simplifying existing migration routes into (our) country through the new points-based migration system," the statement quoted the standing committee chairman as saying.
Since the introduction of the point-based system (PBS) in the UK, Bangladeshis in Britain have been lobbying with the key government bodies and legislators to relax the system for Bangladeshis who run 90 percent of UK's Asian restaurants.
The British government banned migration of low-skilled workers in 2006. According to the new PBS, "low skilled" workers with poor knowledge of English will find it difficult to enter Britain.
Bangladeshi restaurant workers, mainly from Sylhet, have very little knowledge of English, and Bangladeshi caterers fear that if British government does not relax the PBS for the restaurant workers in particular, the British curry industry will collapse.
On Sept 10, however, the British government announced that the curry industry was included in the shortage occupation list for which the PBS could be relaxed for Bangladeshis to get jobs in the Asian restaurant sector.

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