Call for asylum employment rightsCommittee urges Executive to consult Home Office on employment for asylum seekers
As the BBC reports, the Scottish Parliament's European and External Relations Committee have proposed that the Scottish Executive should include the 21% of asylum seekers who are university educated in the Fresh Talent scheme. Scotland could benefit from their knowledge and experience, but under present UK Home Office rules only 7% of such people are allowed to work, and most of those are in low-level jobs which don't use their abilities.
This problem again illustrates the need for the Scottish Parliament's remit to cover migration to Scotland. Present UK immigration policies seem to be designed to get rid of would-be migrants as soon as possible to avoid overcrowding in southern England.
Scotland needs to attract skilled and talented workers to counteract the projected decline in Scottish working-age population from 2009 onwards. If all asylum seekers in Scotland were able to take jobs suiting their skills and experience this would help the Scottish economy, help the asylum seekers financially, speed asylum seekers' integration and mean they could no longer be condemned as "benefit scroungers".UPDATE
Here is a link to more information about the Fresh Talent
scheme in case anyone wants to apply. WARNING: although the Fresh Talent initiave is Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell's pet scheme he's unlikely to support it (or anything else) against the UK Home Office.
I've also updated the link to the BBC report. It wotks at the moment (00.56 am on Thursday) anyway.