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In a new paper published on Thursday, SMF think tank calls for the government’s new Immigration Skills Charge to be used to fund an expanded Controlling Migration Fund. The Immigration Skills Charge comes into force today, which means that Employers hiring skilled a migrant worker must now pay an additional charge of £1,000 for every year they employ that worker in the UK. It is predicted to raise £250 million a year, and ministers have not announced where the money will be spent.

Skills training is already receiving a boost of up to £2.8 billion a year from the new Apprenticeships Levy, which also takes effect today, so the political impact of spending another £250 million here will be limited, whereas increasing the funding of the Controlling Migration Fund could help local authorities and others provide additional services to meet demands created by population change.

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