Care England has submitted evidence to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) stating that any immigration system needs to support the social care workforce.
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 MAC's call for evidence, which asks organisations and employers to share their 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 professions for which the evidence suggests there are not enough UK workers to fill vacancies.
Skills for Care’s 2019 workforce data stated that 17% of the adult social care sector’s employees were non-British nationals. Notably, 8% of the workforce, according to this same data set, were stated as being EU nationals. As a result of leaving the EU in 2021, freedom of movement will come to an end in the UK, and Government must consider the impact of this on the adult social care sector, says Care England. This is even more important when the ageing population is taken into account, meaning that more staff will likely be needed in the adult care sector.
However, it is also fundamental that we ensure the attractiveness of a career in adult social care for British nationals. Care England supports the Department of Health and Social Care's adult social care recruitment campaigns, however, the member organisation suggests that 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.'
The call for evidence will close at 11.45pm today. More information is available on the GOV.UK website.