23/01/2020: UK Music Deputy CEO Tom Kiehl has welcomed reports that the Government will drop the £30,000 salary floor for skilled migrants.
His intervention was in response to media reports that the new immigration rules post-Brexit are likely to mean an end to the £30,000 salary minimum for skilled workers.
The move comes ahead of a forthcoming report from the independent migration advisory committee (MAC). The Government is then expected to spell out more details of its proposed “Australian-style points-based system”.
At present, the £30,000 limit is applied to people seeking tier 2 visas which is the main route to the UK labour market for skilled workers from non-EU nations.
Mr Kiehl said it was “welcome news the Government appears ready to drop the £30,000 salary floor”. He added: “We will analyse the eventual proposals closely so the qualifying criteria supports cultural exchange.”
UK Music has long urged the Government not to put in jeopardy the UK’s world leading music industry with a “crude” salaries and skills approach to migration.
UK Music has warned UK’s future immigration system will have a profound impact on the possibility of achieving a reciprocal agreement with the EU in the interests of music.
Requiring musicians, songwriters and producers from the EU to earn at least £30,000 to work in the UK poses a significant threat to the music industry where musicians earn on average under £23,059- well below the average for other jobs.
The salary floor risks limiting the ability of European musicians to play in our world-leading festivals, venues and studios. Any reciprocal approach by the EU without a visa waiver in place would make it very hard, if not impossible, for so many UK artists to tour in EU.