Salary needed for skilled foreign workers rises by a third to £38,700 – BBC News

Date:

Since last
year, the sector which has seen the most workers come in, even though they
don’t earn enough for a normal skilled worker visas, is health and social
care.

The numbers are remarkable.

In the year to September 66,000
people got a conventional skilled worker visa. But in the same period, 144,000
people got a health and care visa – mostly to work in care homes.

That’s almost
two thirds of all the skilled worker visas. But many of the foreign workers
bring close family with them. Add dependants to skilled workers and the total
rises to 117,000.

But in health and care, the combined figure for workers
and their families rises to 318,000.

That’s an additional 174,000
dependants who would no longer be able to come unless their family member earns
more than £38,700.

Some in the care sector worry that stopping foreign workers
from bringing their close family will mean they don’t come either.

This is the difficult balancing act the government must
perform. They want to cut immigration but without starving social care of
workers they desperately need.

Increasing the salary threshold more
generally will be tricky for other sectors at least in the short term.

Net migration would almost certainly have fallen even if the government
announced nothing today, but these measures will have an impact.

The question
is whether British employers can recruit enough from our own population without
paying people more and pushing up prices.

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