The United Kingdom Government has started considering closing temporary visa schemes for care workers as the country recorded the highest numbers of migrants in the last nine months.
The move was a result of the call made by the New Conservatives party which urged the country’s ministers to end temporary visa schemes for care workers as part of an effort to reduce net migration.
The group, which is reported to be supported by former Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, and former UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, stated that the government could no longer handle the number of migrants coming into the UK on a daily basis.
The Home Office, the UK’s migration department, on Thursday, noted that 143,990 health and care worker visas were granted in the year ending September 2023. This is more than double the 61,274 for the year to September 2022.
The top three nationalities, according to the Home Office, on these visas are Indians, Nigerians and Zimbabweans. Nigeria has the most significant percentage increase behind Zimbabwe at 169 per cent and India, with 76 per cent. In terms of dependents granted health and care work visas, Nigeria spiked by 329 per cent from 10,533 to 45,203.
The increase in the number of healthcare workers migrating to the UK is attributed to its cheap and easy entry migration conditions as the country faces a shortage of healthcare workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest statistics indicate that 1.279 million more people have come to the UK than have exited in the last two years. This, it was noted, has put a lot of pressure on accommodation and amenities in the past month, raising concerns among Britons.
In a recent interview, the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said net migration levels are indeed “too high” after one of his senior ministers said it was “unacceptable” that there were a record number of arrivals last year.
Net migration into the UK peaked at 745,000 in 2022, which is a record high according to revised estimates published by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday. The data places migration levels at three times higher than before Brexit, despite a Conservative Party 2019 manifesto pledge to bring overall numbers down.
The National Health Service Trusts, on Friday, also lamented how difficult it is sustainable to prop up social care with workers on visas.