Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative leader David Cameron both attacked the Liberal Democrat party hopeful Nick Clegg over his proposals to give an amnesty to illegal immigrants.
Cameron and Brown both said that giving an amnesty would send out the wrong message and encourage further illegal immigration.
But Clegg hit back saying that his was the only party honestly facing up to the reality of the hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants already in the UK.
When asked what he was doing about the estimated half a million illegal immigrants, Gordon Brown said: “we’re removing them”.
Cameron reiterated Conservative plans to put an annual cap on immigration, but could not say how many migrants would be allowed in each year.
As in last week’s election TV debate Gordon Brown said that his government had introduced a points based system to control immigration and allow only those people with the right skills into the UK, and that he had brought in new measures to tighten the visa system to cut the numbers of foreign students coming in by 40,000.
He reminded the audience in Bristol that he would be taking Care Workers and Chefs off the independent shortage occupations list and give those jobs to ‘trained up British workers’.
Care Home managers and restaurateurs would argue that the reason they hire foreign workers and students is that they cannot find sufficient British workers to do those jobs.
Funding for NVQ courses to train British workers under the ‘train to gain scheme’ has recently been slashed by the Learning Skills Council.