Commenting on a new report published jointly by the International Longevity Centre and Independent Age which has predicted that nursing homes and care agencies are likely to be short of 200,000 workers in the next five years rising to 1 million in the next 20 years, John Atkinson head of commercial business at Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance, said:
“There’s increasing pressure on healthcare providers to fill current positions while solving the ongoing problem of skills shortages and this is unfortunately only likely to intensify. We questioned a number of MDs and owners of recruitment firms that cover healthcare and the results very much support the concerns of the report, where high turnover rates and immigration are said to be fuelling the shortage.
“For 94% of respondents, a growing trend for short-term temporary recruitment has been witnessed, as the need to plug gaps and maintain business efficiency take priority. Indeed, for almost all, the average term of contract placement is only for 3-6 months, therefore revealing the regularity at which healthcare providers are having to reassess their staffing needs.”
The latest report published by the International Longevity Centre and Independent Age explains how changing immigration legislation will considerably impact the chances of any immediate improvement; from 2016, non-European Economic Area workers will need to earn over £35,000 in order to settle in the UK for longer than six years.
“While the feedback revealed an overwhelming majority agreeing that there will be fewer candidates to choose from once the new immigration rules come into place, for 85%, the average salary of those they currently place, per annum pro-rata, is between £21,000-£30,000. Of course this falls below the threshold of £35,000, so pressure is mounting to navigate and overcome the impending storm about to hit UK and healthcare employment in particular.
“Healthcare providers must remain agile if they are to ride out the next 12-18 months. In order to redress the problem of rising unemployment, they must work closely with recruiters to anticipate changing needs and find the most suitable candidates for short and long-term operational success. Of course, the ability to do this relies on having available capital to invest, which will give businesses greater manoeuvrability and responsiveness.”