Re: Its a body count thing....
"There's been a chronic shortage of skilled people in the UK for some time now "
Is that really true though? Here in the US, companies love to use that line (and a lot of money) to get favorable visa policy purchased/passed. I'm no MAGA guy, but I do think we could solve whatever shortage there is by investing in training and education of existing resources.
There's a difference between "skilled and trainable" vs. "drop-in replacement who has some esoteric combination of impossible-to-find skills."