Welsh Government could share control over international migration.
There is a clear need for a Welsh migration policy that meet Welsh needs, according to a Plaid Cymru discussion paper launched today that puts international migration into a Welsh context.
Click here to download the discussion paper.
Amongst the recommendations made by the paper is that the Welsh Government should take more control over the migration process into Wales, similar to the role of the Quebec government in Canada.
Other proposals include an occupancy shortage register to fill Welsh skills’ gaps in order to boost our economy, and a post-study work visa so that international students who study in Wales have more time to find appropriate work after completing their courses.
In framing the debate in a Welsh context, some of the more common migration myths are exposed, with the 2011 census showing that 96% of people in Wales are from the British Isles and that no single ethnic minority make up more than 0.6% of the Welsh population.
Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans said:
“It is important that we have a Welsh migration policy that meets Welsh needs.
“There is a substantial difference between England, where 1 in 6 people are international migrants, and Wales, where it is only 1 in 25.
“This Plaid Cymru paper sets out the issues for a Welsh migration policy, putting forward practical solutions to meet Welsh needs.
“It proposes that the Welsh Government should have more control over international migration to Wales, with powers similar to those of Quebec in Canada.
“Currently the Welsh Government has no powers over international migration.
“There should be a skills shortage occupation register so that we can work out which skills Wales needs to improve the economy and target migrants with those skills, such as doctors, as Plaid Cymru has previously said.
“International students who qualify from universities in Wales should be able to apply for a two year post-study work visa, similar to the Fresh Talent scheme that used to operate in Scotland.
“There should also be a more formal role for the Welsh Government in discussing migration requirements with the Migration Advisory Committee that makes recommendations to the UK Government.
“At the moment, there is a lively debate about migration, but this is the first time that these issues are being discussed within a Welsh context that is so clearly different to the one that we see in the UK media.
“It is telling that only Plaid Cymru puts Wales first in this way.”