The Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on Migration and Population has updated their report which looks at how the new UK immigration policy impacts on Scotland.
The report warns that the proposed new immigration system could halve the number of people coming to Scotland, which risks labour shortages in key sectors.
The new immigration requirements mean that migrants from outside the EU will need a job offer with a minimum salary threshold of £25,600. This would mainly affect female migrants, who will only be able to access around 37% of available jobs.
Previous research indicates that 53% of roles filled by migrants in Scotland earn less than £25,000 – including up to 90% of jobs in the care sector.
Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Care commented:
“There have been few individuals who have more dedicated their lives to the fight against Covid19 than those working in frontline social care roles across Scotland. We know that a significant number of these women and men come from the European Economic Area.
This independent report shows that the proposed UK immigration policy risks shutting the door on the ability of social care providers to recruit talented, skilled and dedicated workers from Europe and elsewhere.
The proposed lower salary threshold of £25,600 simply fails to recognise that the vast majority of those working in social care in Scotland earn less than this figure.
Social care providers are deeply anxious that at a time of very real threat to the sustainability of the sector in Scotland that we are at the point of risking a substantial reduction in the ability to freely recruit from Europe and elsewhere. This is frankly policy devoid of practicality, ignorant of implication, and hugely damaging to our ability to protect and sustain lives at a time of pandemic threat.
I urge the UK Government to give serious consideration to the reform of their proposals, to appreciate the distinctive needs of Scottish social care providers and to prevent the damaging consequences which will inevitably ensue were this policy to be implemented.”