UK vet calls on new Prime Minister
A recommendation from the Government’s migration advisers to add vets to the Shortage Occupation List of professions given preferential access to high-skilled worker visas has been welcomed by one of the sector’s leading figures.
But Jason Aldiss, managing director of Leeds-based veterinary services company Eville & Jones, has said that it is incumbent upon whoever replaces Theresa May as Prime Minister to accept the proposal from Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
In a report published, the MAC recommended that migration rules should be relaxed for a range of occupations including vets, web designers, psychologists and architects.
Dr Aldiss said: “It has been a long road to reach this point, but I am pleased that the MAC has finally seen sense.
“Their report confirms the stark reality that, in the meat hygiene sector, around 95 per cent of the veterinary workforce in this country graduated overseas, with a clear majority of them coming from the EU. It adds that working in UK slaughterhouses is not generally considered attractive to British veterinarians. That is why it is absolutely essential to have unfettered access to foreign vets.
“Those candidates standing to become Leader of the Conservative Party and our next Prime Minister must make clear that they will accept the recommendation to add veterinary professionals to the Shortage Occupation List.”
Dr Aldiss, who also serves as Secretary General of the Union of European Veterinary Hygienists, added: “I note that, in his explanatory comments, MAC Chairman Professor Alan Manning states that all recommendations outlined in the report are only applicable under the current immigration system which incorporates EU free movement.
“Should Brexit happen and free movement ends, the UK in general and the veterinary, meat processing and agricultural sectors in particular will suddenly find ourselves in even more perilous positions than at present.
“With the UK due to leave the EU on 31 October, we need further assurances from the leadership candidates on what the UK’s post-Brexit immigration system will look like under the Government they lead and that it will include full access to the overseas veterinary professionals our country desperately needs.”