Scottish Visas

Part of First Minister's Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at 12:00 pm on 22nd January 2004.

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Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour 12:00 pm, 22nd January 2004

Yes, I will. The matter was first raised with me by the business community more than a year ago in relation to some of the more traditional trades and the sort of skills that Christine May mentioned. However, I am conscious that we have other professional skills shortages in Scotland, particularly in dentistry, which is a topical issue this week. There might be issues on regulation and the qualifications that are required to practise in Scotland, and we will consider those.

Only this week, I was approached by a consul general from one of the central European countries, who told me of a dentist from that country's capital city who was on a walking holiday in Scotland last year, felt that Scotland was probably the best place in the world in which to live and who, when he read on the internet this week about our problem with dentists, offered to come and live and join the profession here. If we can get that kind of response from the odd press release by Mike Rumbles, we will be doing very well.