Refugees could cut skills shortages and pay £100m tax - Refugee Council
March 14, 2005

Refugees could cut skills shortages and pay £100m tax

Author: Maxine Frith, Social Affairs Correspondent
Source: The Independent Online Edition

A shortage of doctors, dentists, accountants and other professionals could be cut if the Government changed its asylum policy – and the boost to the Exchequer would be massive, new research finds

Thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers who have been trained as doctors, engineers, scientists and other professionals are being denied the opportunity to work in Britain because of government restrictions on their employment and education rights.

The skills and experience of up to 5,000 foreign academics seeking refuge in this country could be worth more than £100m to the economy. Yet, despite being qualified for professions where there are desperate shortages, many are being forced to live on benefits or take low-paid manual jobs.

The TUC and Cara offer a handbook to help refugee academics convert their skills after being granted leave to remain.

For the full story, go to The Independent online (Note: this article now requires payment).

For some real-life experiences of professionals who are refugees, go to The Doctor: ‘I don’t want to be a waiter when I could help people’ (Note: this article is still available)


Links and further information:

Report featured in the story: Allowing asylum-seekers to work would boost economy from the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (Cara)

The Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (Cara) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) also offer a handbook to help refugee academics convert their skills after being granted leave to remain. It can be obtained by e-mailing info@cara.lsbu.ac.uk

For the Refugee Council’s statement in support of the handbook from Maeve Sherlock, chief executive of the Refugee Council, click HERE.