The British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) has issued guidance to members on the eligibility of roles in the sector following the Home Office’s publication of its new points-based immigration system.
Under the plans, to enter the UK and be able to work under the new points-based system from January 2021 - from within or outside the EU - a person must be in a skilled, eligible occupation, be able to speak English to the required levels and, in the majority of cases, have a sponsoring employer that pays the Immigration Skills Charge.
The BFM has assessed the information and reported its key findings to membership.
BFM MD Nick Garratt says: “The document shows that many skilled furniture production operatives will be deemed as eligible occupations to obtain a work visa. However, we do need to establish the status of wood machinists.
“At the moment, there is some confusion over their definition, as this term is also specifically identified as falling into the category ‘paper and wood machine operatives’, which is an ineligible visa occupation. While it seems likely that furniture wood machinists, which are in short supply, are eligible, we are seeking clarification on this with the Migration Advisory Committee.
“Another issue we are looking to address centres around the current status of upholstery sewing machinists as being excluded from entry. We have submitted to the Migration Advisory Committee, through the British Furniture Confederation (BFC), a request, supported by evidence, to include this role as an eligible occupation.”