NHS: Recruitment

Home Office written question – answered on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the NHS is able to recruit nurses from the EU after the UK leaves the EU.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

The Government is committed to developing a future borders and immigra-tion system that will cater for all sectors of the UK, including for those who make a very valuable contribution to our NHS.

On 19 December, we published an immigration White Paper on the UK’s future skills-based immigration system, intended to provide for a single sys-tem applicable to both EU and non-EU nationals, to be implemented after 2021. In this, we have proposed a new skilled worker route, which will not be capped, removed the requirement for employers to undertake a Resi-dent Labour Market Test for high skilled roles and committed to providing a simpler and more streamlined sponsorship system.

As we have been clear, the White Paper provides the basis for a national conversation. We are launching an extensive 12-month programme of engagement with UK-wide businesses and organisations on key proposals contained in the White Paper before making final policy decisions on these issues.

In the meantime, we have been clear that we want all EU nationals, including those working in the NHS, to stay in the UK after we leave. And for those making an important contribution from outside of the EU, we have implemented a number of preferential provisions within the current system specifically for nurses. This includes a change we made last July to exempt all non-EEA overseas nurses and all doctors needed in the UK from the Tier 2 annual cap, allowing them to be recruited into critical roles in the NHS without a restriction on their numbers.

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