Companies which hire skilled workers from outside the European Union should face a £1,000 surcharge per head, the Government's official immigration advisers have said.
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) said that by increasing the cost of hiring from abroad, the new charge would encourage employers to invest in training British workers instead.
The salary threshold for workers entering Britain under the "Tier 2" route for skilled workers should also be raised from £20,800 to £30,000, the panel recommended.
Both measures would "reduce the use of migrant labour", said Professor Sir David Metcalf, the chairman of the MAC.
An exhaustive 280-page study of the Tier 2 route also uncovered evidence that British workers' salaries were being undercut by migrants.
"These are predominantly public sector occupations," said the report, such as secondary school teachers, nurses and doctors.
The MAC also recommended the Government should overhaul an immigration route which has particularly been used by IT companies to bring in skilled workers, often to work on third party contracts.
The Intra Company Transfer route has "less clear cut" benefits for Britain and should be overhauled, the panel said.
On the minimum salary proposal, Sir David said increasing the threshold to £30,000 a year would make the route "that much more selective".
The up-front charge on each skilled migrant - first proposed by David Cameron, the Prime Minister - would apply per year, so a three year visa would carry a surcharge of £3,000, he added.
At current rates of migration the surcharge would raise £250 million a year to go towards training British workers, the chairman said.
The MAC's will now be considered by the Government.