The Scottish Government has yet again asked that control over migration be devolved. Immigration Policy currently is a reserved issue to the UK Government.
The call comes after new figures released by the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS) show a huge drop in the number of teachers from the EU wishing to take up posts in Scotland. So far only 14 teachers from 6 EU nations have applied for registration.
John Swinney, Deputy First Minister said:
“Scotland voted clearly and decisively to remain within the European Union and we have repeatedly demonstrated that this is the best option for Scotland’s future.
“These figures show the stark reality of Brexit. Already highly-skilled and hard-working EU citizens are thinking twice about choosing to live and teach in Scotland which will not only have a negative impact on the education workforce but our economy and society as a whole.
John Swinney continued:
“Last year we had citizens from almost every EU member country applying for GTCS registration but, so far this year, citizens from just six countries have applied to live and work in Scotland. And the head of the GTCS – the independent body that registers teachers – has today made plain that Brexit is driving this slump.
“Once again this underlines the clear case for the Scottish Government, accountable to the Scottish Parliament, to set the rules for a migration system tailored to meet the country’s needs.
“It is vital we continue to attract the very best candidates to work within the Scottish education system regardless of their nationality, our young people deserve no less.”
In an article to the Holyrood magazine Ken Muir,GTCS chief executive said:
“It’s always been the case that immigration rules, tier two status and all the rest of it have had a role to play in that, but I think that, together with Brexit, means folk are asking ‘is it really worthwhile to come and teach in Scotland?”
“Having maintained numbers pretty high from the EU, they are falling off a cliff, and that’s absolutely down to Brexit.
“Particularly from three countries in the EU, Greece, Poland and Spain, we get a good number of applicants, followed by the Republic of Ireland it has to be said – those four are our big hitters, and those numbers have dwindled to next to nothing.”
Registered teachers from EU, EEA and Switzerland can register with the GTCS.