Care England Address Shortage of Care Workers

Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has submitted evidence to the Migration Advisory Committee.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:

“Recruitment and retention of staff are of paramount importance to providers of adult social care.  Any future immigration system must take into account the realities of the adult social care sector including the valuable contribution of overseas nationals in providing care to some of society’s most vulnerable”.

Care England has made its submission to the Migration Advisory Committee’s call for evidence asking business organisations and employers to share their valuable recruitment experiences as part of a review of the shortage occupation lists.  The responses will support the evidence based recommendations to be put to the Home Secretary in September 2020.  The shortage occupation list is a government compiled list of occupations for which the evidence suggests there are not enough UK workers to fill vacancies.

Whilst Skills for Care’s 2019 workforce data stated that 17% of the adult social care sector’s employees were non-British nationals. In particular, 8% of the workforce according to this same data set were stated as being EU nationals. In light of the end of freedom of movement in 2021 as a result of the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU, the Government must consider the impact of such processes upon the adult social care sector. This is accentuated when one considers the longer-term demographic trends towards an older population. However, it is also of fundamental importance to ensure the attractiveness of adult social care for British nationals. Care England therefore supports the DHSCs’ adult social care recruitment campaigns, however, such campaigns must be backed up by more sustainable levels of funding and higher levels of fees for the sector.

Martin Green continues:

“Staff are our most precious resource and we need help to ensure that we have the systems in place to recruit and retain sufficient numbers to look after those in our care. Government must consider the additional pressures which COVID-19 has placed upon the adult social care workforce, but also, the sector as a whole. In turn, the Government must be mindful of this further shaping the United Kingdom’s future immigration systems”