Joint Council for Wales statement: Supporting the migrant workforce

The Joint Council for Wales is united in its commitment to provide the best support to everyone in our workplaces and communities.

We recognise that the talented and diverse group of people we collectively employ and represent are central to the delivery of high quality public services.

Migrants from the UK, Europe and across the world who come to live and work in Wales on a temporary or permanent basis; whether labour or family migrants; mobile EU citizens; refugees or international students make a vital contribution to Wales both economically and culturally.

With the UK exiting the European Union, the Joint Council for Wales will promote employment policies and practices which ensure that Welsh Councils continue to be able to attract migrants with vital skills from Europe and around the world.

In particular public services such as Health and Social Care have currently persistent shortages and the Joint Council is committed to encourage and attract local individuals to work in the health and social care system, whilst also attracting and retaining staff from the EU and beyond to fill these vacancy gaps.

In response to Exiting the EU we have developed a shared goal across the Joint Council – Councillors, Senior Officers and Trade Unionists from the 22 councils – in Wales to work jointly, as employers with trade unions, to develop a consistency of approach in communicating a common positive narrative in welcoming and promoting the beneficial contribution of migrants in the workplace.

This includes commitments to developing a supportive workplace environment for migrants – as opposed to the so called ‘hostile environment’ – by providing positive employment practices and policies to end discrimination, lower recruitment barriers, and reduce under and unemployment in the local migrant workforce.

The Joint Council for Wales believes whatever future UK immigration model is adopted and agreed, as part of the EU withdrawal process, it must be flexible enough to allow the health and social care system to recruit appropriately from outside the UK to fill workforce shortages and maintain vital care services.

We are committed to continue to work with migrant rights groups and equality alliances, to positively promote our supporting the migrant workforce initiative and adopt necessary measures and responses to the future UK immigration model to ensure that migrants continue to play an integrated and inclusive contribution in Wales’s public services.