What can be done?

The campaign to cut immigration and stop asylum abuse

2. Immigration for healthcare

Healthcare visas have risen 6-fold

  • Year to June 2019 – 15,300
  • Year to June 2022 – 100,000

Part of this will be linked to the fact that, from 15th February 2022, the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) was expanded to include social care worker, care assistant and home care worker roles.

This has amounted to a new route for immigration into lower-skilled jobs from around the world. Such a route helps to perpetuate the low-pay status quo in the sector and, as the MAC put it in April 2022, it is “highly damaging” longer term to the sector.

These and other lower-skilled roles should be removed from the SOL going forward with a view to reforms that, instead, would see such jobs pay more.

We propose the following measures:

Stop relying on overseas healthcare workers

It is a mistake for the immigration system to be geared in such a way that it encourages the NHS to hire cheaper workers from overseas, as is the case now.

The rules should do the very opposite: encouraging the upskilling and hiring of talented young people in the UK of all backgrounds and attracting local recruits with better wages.

Scrap the cap on training places for UK applicants

As the MAC has said repeatedly, the key is providing more training places, raising pay and improving working conditions (which would also help with staff retention).

The MAC has said: “There is no reason why nurses cannot be sourced domestically” and “the…health sector invest(s) insufficiently in UK residents”. In the words of the Royal College of Physicians, the focus should be “developing the home grown…workforce”.

How can you help our campaign?

If we don’t act now, it will be too late

Take action