Casting some light on the overheated subject of immigration

Posted on January 19th, by geoff in CT blog. 3 comments

By guest blogger BOB FERGUSON

I may have missed it, of course, but, as we draw ever closer to the general election, I haven’t noticed a statement from the care industry emphasising the significance of immigrant workers to their members’ businesses.

Immigration will be one of the hot topics on the hustings. Unfortunately, it is one that – much like welfare – tends to be driven more by prejudice than recorded facts. Since so many people seem to get their political education from misleading – in some cases downright repugnant – tabloid headlines, that tendency is likely to crystalise as the campaign warms up.

Surely industry leaders can’t simply watch from the sidelines as an ill-informed debate about the net value of immigration threatens to undermine a key foundation of the sector. I believe they can contribute constructively to that debate, by drawing on the experiences of their members to make clear how dependent care providers are on workers from overseas – be they from the EU or elsewhere – without becoming mired in party politics.

Such a statement would have greater weight were it to be made by a united sector. What is the Care Provider Alliance for if not for that? Their members are routinely assessed on the extent to which they are well-led. Let them demonstrate how they rate against that benchmark, I say.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

3 responses to “Casting some light on the overheated subject of immigration”

  1. John Burton says:

    Very good point, Bob. Where would British industry, transport, NHS and social care be without the huge contribution of immigrants whose descendants are now a mainstream part of our society and culture? People come to the UK to work hard (often for very little money) and create a future for their families. And some come to escape persecution in their country of origin. Let us celebrate and be grateful for immigrants.

  2. Gillian Dalley says:

    I fully agree with John and Bob. Do any of the provider associations have statistics on their work-force profiles? It would be useful to inform discussion with some hard facts. The impact of the sorts of immigration controls advocated in some quarters could damage the care sector beyond imagination. All those voters who themselves depend on (or who have family members or friends who do) the hard work and commitment of people from abroad should remember this when they go out to vote.

  3. Martin Green says:

    Care England has done a lot of work to highlight the importance of migrant workers in the sector. We have made representations to the Migration Advisory Committee and I have written two letters to the press on this subject. Sadly because they didn’t concur with the hysteria that the newspapers were trying to whip up, they were not published.

    Your challenge is a good one Bob, and we would be happy to work with the CPA to raise this important issue in the lead-up to the general election.

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