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Impact of changes to international migration

This project aims to provide the Broadband Stakeholders Group (BSG) with evidence to present to the UK Government’s consultation on the likely impact of the proposed (at the time the project was awarded) £30,000 salary threshold for immigrant workers on the supply of construction workers and civil engineers to the broadband installation sector, especially involving contractors and infrastructure-building communications providers. In particular, evidence is needed on the likely impact a reduction in the number of these workers from the EU might have on the full fibre and 5G infrastructure deployment abilities of communications providers.

The project was undertaken by the Institute for Employment Research at the University of Warwick, in collaboration with IFF Research. IFF developed a telephone survey of employers and was also to undertake in-depth interviews and case studies. The IER was responsible for reviewing migration proposals and providing background data analysis using quantitative data sources.

Unfortunately, the sector is very difficult to define in terms of offical labour market data. Even the most detailed level of the 2007 Standard Industrial Classification does not identify the activities involved in this sector very well. Furthermore, the occupations identified by the BSG as working in this sector are not present in to 2020 Standard Ocupational Classification. A short quantitative report was prepared which outlines the ambiguities in identifying the sector, and presents alternative definitions of the sector. BSG found it very difficult to persuade its members to engage with the survey conducted by IFF and only a handful of resppnses were obtained.

The Conservative government elected in December 2019 has published proposals for a new immigration system in February 2020 which adopts a lower salary threshold.

This project is now completed. There is no final report.

Project Team:

David Owen (Principal Investigator)

Project Duration:

July 2019 - January 2020