The Immigration Bill of 29 June 2001 reflects an intention to address the skills needs of the country and is an advance on existing legislation. However, some aspects of the Bill undermine its generally sound principles and other provisions would actually raise operating costs. The use of quotas and ‘prescribed’ requirements and categories ignore market demand and place an additional burden on three different government bureaucracies.

This will tax government’s information systems and capacity beyond the limits of what is possible. There is no threat that we will be overwhelmed by applications of doctors, engineers, mechanics, accountants and IT specialists, since many countries are trying to attract them, so why the government’s inordinate need for caution? The Bill also makes no provision for entrepreneurs or self-employed people.

Op-ed: Nitty Gritty of skills bill falls short again

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