I don't think you should confuse the utter mess the government made of the reforms of the training of junior doctors with the "coming over here and taking our jobs" argument... There are something like 90,000 overseas trained doctors in the UK, kick them all out and you'd have a shortfall of 78000. I know that's a crude sum, but it brings me on to my main rant...
For me this is a symptom of the failings of the British government over the past 30 years to ensure that we remain a world leader in science, engineering and medicine. (Before anyone asks I hold Thatcher every bit as responsible as Blair - this is non party political for me). I work for a pharmaceutical company and when we advertise for scientists or pharmacists we just don't get white brits applying.
I'll give you 2 reasons why this is for me: Money and Attitude
1) Money. It should be a national disgrace that good quality university physics and chemistry departments are closing. it should be a national disgrace that 1,000,000 kids are taught physics by a teacher with no physics qualification ( source of stats
) But it isn't. Lack of investment over the past 30 years has left the teaching of sciences in an absolute mess. It is an inescapable fact that it costs more for a child to gain a gcse in chemistry than in PE, but which is going to repay it's cost in a boost to british industry? I guess like many kids I was taught science (early 90s) in run-down class-rooms with ancient, out-of date equipment.
2) Attitude. There is a myth prevalent at all levels of education that all subjects are equal. They're not. Employers know it, experienced workers know it and I think deep down the pupils know it. And yet (and I'm talking mainly about uni here) we allow too many to take the easy way out. The reality is that a qualification in medicine, engineering or science is hard work. A lot harder than some poncy arts degree and a hell of a lot more useful, yet we allow too many people to waste three years gaining a worthless qualification.
The reason that Britain is having to rely on foreign nationals (and make no mistake about we'd be in a hell of a bigger mess if we kicked them all out) for our needs in medicine, science and engineering is because we are not producing home-grown talent with the right qualifications.
Rant over, I'm off down the pub...