Key Points:

  • The government’s white paper on international migration recognises, correctly, that the challenge for the country is to take advantage of the positive aspects of globalisation while taking a realistic view of the resource constraints and strategic impediments to policy implementation.
  • Other useful proposals include a specialised immigration service, offering visa-free travel to a broad range of visitors and delegating responsibility to companies in the form of ‘corporate’ work permits.
  • However, the paper fails to recognise the impacts of AIDS and emigration on the skilled workforce, and the proposals are hatched in a policy vacuum by not taking account of the government’s broader policy goals of employment, entrepreneurship and economic growth.
  • The paper also makes the immigration process onerous by requiring too much bureaucratic intervention and supervision.
  • The assessment that follows is focused specifically on the issue of skilled migration
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