Here’s one sure-fire way to rid Britain of some of our most important workers
Immigration rules that come into force next month will see thousands of Britain’s key workers sent back to the countries they were born in.
From 6 April, non-EU migrants who have been here less than 10 years will need to be earning £35,000 or more if they want to settle in Britain permanently.
There are some jobs, such as some types of nursing, which are exempt from the rule, however, many important workers like teachers are included.
With stretched budgets in education, most teachers cannot earn £35,000 salaries, despite a recruitment crisis.
Shannon Harmon from the Stop35k.org campaign told the Guardian: “The new rules will impact classrooms up and down the country. The average teacher’s salary in the UK after 10 years is £29,500 according to a 2013 OECD report, significantly short of the required £35,000 threshold. Who will replace these teachers?”
A petition to scrap the rule attracted 110,478 signatures and was debated in parliament.
It said: “This ridiculous measure is only going to affect 40,000 people who have already been living and working in the UK for 5 years, contributing to our culture and economy. It will drive more workers from the NHS and people from their families. This empty gesture will barely affect the immigration statistics. It’s a waste of time, money and lives.
“This is the first time the UK has discriminated against low-earners. £35k is an unreasonably high threshold. The UK will lose thousands of skilled workers.”
While the petition was debated, the new rules were not changed. A Home Office spokesman responded: “In the past it has been too easy for some businesses to bring in workers from overseas rather than to take the long-term decision to train our workforce here at home.
“We need to do more to change that, which means reducing the demand for migrant labour. That is why we commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee to provide advice on significantly reducing economic migration from outside the EU. These reforms will ensure that businesses are able to attract the skilled migrants they need, but we also want them to get far better at recruiting and training UK workers first.”
The Home Office said employers have “had this time to prepare for the possibility their migrant workers may not meet the required salary threshold to remain in the UK permanently”.