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Tory MPs call to close care worker visa scheme

A group of right-wing Tory MPs has called for an end to care worker visas, in an effort to reduce long term international migration.

In a new plan to cut immigration, the Tory MPs say closing the temporary schemes that grant eligibility for worker visas to ‘care workers’ and ‘senior care workers’ would reduce long term international migration by 82,000.

The report defends this stance saying that reliance on cheaper international labour deflates wages for UK workers, and disincentivises UK citizens from training for those jobs. In addition, migrants who are not net-contributors to the UK economy reduce GDP per capita.

The report states that of the 166,408 skilled worker visas, the largest group (76,938) is health and care visa applications. Over half (51 per cent) of all visas granted in the health and care route were to dependants of main applicants.

The group also notes that visa eligibility for both care workers and senior care workers was introduced as a ‘temporary’ measure to address post-pandemic labour shortages.

Responding, Sam Monaghan, chief executive at Methodist Homes (MHA), said not being able to recruit carers from overseas would put pressure on an already difficult recruitment situation.  He added: “Cutting off a key supply of care workers at a time when 500,000 people nationwide are waiting for care is not the answer. What politicians should be doing is looking at a workforce strategy for the care sector. They need to recognise carers as skilled workers to make it an aspirational career choice.”

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