Proposed relaxation of immigration rules for non-EU skilled workers


June 14, 2018

Commenting, Alp Mehmet, Vice Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said:

Bringing medical staff from overseas is no answer to short-sighted attitudes to recruitment and retention that have gone on for a generation now. There are huge numbers of capable people here who are keen for a career in healthcare. Let’s invest more in them rather than rely on recruiting doctors and nurses from countries whose needs far outweigh our own.

Note to editors

  • The potential impact is not merely that a further 7,000-8,000 skilled workers could enter the UK but that unlimited numbers of medical staff could enter. We believe this is the wrong approach, both from the perspective of the need to ensure opportunities for UK workers and the necessity of meeting the wishes of the majority of the public for a reduction in immigration.
  • With three to four applicants for every advertised vacancy for doctors and nurses in NHS England, it is hard to see why vacancies cannot be filled from within the UK.
  • The independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has said there is no reason why the supply of nurses cannot be sourced domestically.
  • The MAC has also consistently bemoaned the fact that NHS employers have seen recruitment abroad as a cheap option.


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