Which workers are key now?

Chief Executive David Ellis with Student Union President Ed Scipio

Chief Executive David Ellis has written to the media to express his view that the Government should amend its immigration essential skills list in the light of the critical role care workers are playing in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

His letter read: ‘What a difference a few weeks make. Last month, the Government, in its proposed EU immigration policy, deemed care workers as low skilled. Now they are among key workers listed by Government as being vital in our battle against the pandemic. It’s a shame that it has taken a pandemic for the Government to realise what so many of us already know – that caring is not a low-skilled, non-essential job but a highly-skilled and vital service.

‘To have deemed them as unskilled was an insult. Now, with not so much as a ‘by your leave’, the Government is carrying on as if its EU immigration policy proposals never happened. These ‘low-skillled’ care staff are now vital. National Star supports young people with complex disabilities and challenging behaviour. They are responsible for people’s lives.

‘We have always valued their professionalism and the value they bring to society. There is a crumb of consolation that the Government has now recognised that. The question is, will the Government amend its immigration essential skills list and include those essential key workers it has listed for the pandemic and give these vital professionals the recognition and respect they deserve? We hope so.’

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