© treenabeena (Fotolia) Pakistani Flag button
© treenabeena (Fotolia)
In the aftermath of the Second World War, due to labour shortages throughout various workforces, the British government somehow had to find a way to plug the gaps and rebuild Britain’s economy.
This was achieved by recruiting workers from the Commonwealth and this signalled the start of a new wave of immigrants coming to British shores.
Many of these immigrants came from the Caribbean, East Africa and South East Asia.
In 1947, Britain relinquished control over the Indian subcontinent which saw it divided into two countries – India and Pakistan.
As a result, this allowed large numbers of people to migrate to Britain from the subcontinent over the next 25 years.
These arrivals were mainly from Gujarat and the Punjab in India, Mirpur in Kashmir (Pakistan), and Sylhet in Bangladesh.
In addition, in 1972, a large number of Asians were expelled from Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and as a result, Britain took in approximately 28,000 more immigrants.
Where they worked
With the newly established National Health Service (NHS) in short supply of qualified doctors and nurses, the door is opened to medical professionals from other countries, so that by 1975, 84% of junior medical hospital staff in geriatric care will come from abroad.
However, most immigrants from the subcontinent came to the UK to fill unskilled jobs in the manufacturing and labour sector.
As a result, their contribution to the British economy, especially in the aftermath of a devastating war is commendable.
Britain needed labour assistance and along with many other countries and regions, individuals from Indian subcontinent helped to fulfil that assistance.