Following our SOS on-line pettion last June 2007, the Government has issued the following reponse to the 2400 people who signed the document in support of overseas Senior Care Workers:
The work permit arrangements are designed to strike a balance between allowing employers to recruit people with the skills they need, whilst protecting employment opportunities for British workers. The Government considers that the British labour force, together with the expanded European Union, is sufficient to meet the needs of jobs below the level of the work permit criteria.
Later this year the Border and Immigration Agency will begin to implement a firmer, faster and fairer points-based system. The new system will be simpler and more transparent; ensuring that only those migrants Britain needs can come to work or study in the UK.
In August 2007 the Border and Immigration Agency updated the caseworker guidance on handling work permit applications for Senior Care Worker posts, following research and consultation with sector stakeholders. This update was done after finding evidence that the majority of Senior Care Worker posts did not meet the existing work permit skills criteria.
The care sector provides an essential service to a vulnerable group in society. Recognising this, the Border and Immigration Agency took the decision to introduce transitional measures for individuals already in the UK on existing Senior Care Worker work permits. These measures are intended to strike an appropriate balance between assisting continuity of care whilst employers adapt their recruitment practices, and ensuring that the work permit arrangements are applied correctly.
In August 2007, the following transitional measures were introduced:
- Existing Senior Care Worker work permits for jobs that do not meet the skills criteria would not be revoked. Revocation would only take place in cases where there was evidence of further non-compliance.
- While initial Senior Care Worker applications must meet the full skills criteria, applications for work permit extensions with the same employer do not have to meet the skills criteria in relation to the level of the job, as long as they are being paid the going rate salary level.
- More Senior Care Worker extension applications have been granted under these measures than in the same period in 2006. However, there are still concerns about the overall impact on this sector. So we are introducing two more transitional measures which we intend to further reduce the impact:
- The existing transitional measures will be extended to in-country change of employment applications for Senior Care Workers. The work permit skills criteria, in relation to the requirements of the job, will be waived for existing Senior Care Worker work permit holders wishing to move to a Senior Care Worker post for another employer.
- For those Senior Care Workers who have had work permits approved prior to 31 December 2003, an exceptional in-country extension may be granted for a maximum of 12 months.
You can read the petition and official response by visiting:
Immigration Matters would like to thank all those who took the time to sign the petition.