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Government to Add £15m to Support International Recruitment for Social Care

The Government has confirmed that it is making £15 million available over 2023 to 2024 to help support international recruitment within the adult social care sector, confirming it says its commitment to helping providers make more effective use of international recruitment to help grow the adult social care workforce, alongside wider action to improve domestic recruitment and retention.

On 15 February 2022, care workers were added to the shortage occupation list to support providers in addressing workforce pressures. This inclusion is enabling the sector to employ overseas recruits to help provide care this winter and beyond.

The£15m announcement comes as social care services face an “absolute crisis” over record vacancies with unfilled jobs increasing by more than 50 per cent in a year, according to data on social care workers which revealed least 165,000 vacancies across adult social care providers at the end of 2021-22.

The government says that: “Although international recruitment has the potential to fill thousands of vacancies, we recognise that many providers find it difficult and experience a number of different barriers. This fund is being established to provide employers with a range of support mechanisms so that they are able to take advantage of the benefits presented by international recruitment. It is also designed to help ensure an ethical approach to recruitment and employment practice and that international recruits are provided with a range of support to help them make an effective transition to working in England.”

“Our aim is to promote collaborative arrangements which reduce administrative complexity and burden, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) providers. For example, the local support arrangements may offer providers help with identifying overseas candidates, completing sponsorship licence and visa applications, onboarding and ongoing support for international recruits.

“This fund is being established to provide employers with a range of support mechanisms so that they are able to take advantage of the benefits presented by international recruitment. It is also designed to help ensure an ethical approach to recruitment and employment practice and that international recruits are provided with a range of support to help them make an effective transition to working in England.”

DHSC intends to distribute the grant through a lead local authority which will act on behalf of all the local authorities in the partnership and in collaboration with local care alliances and local providers.

Further details can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/international-recruitment-fund-for-the-adult-social-care-sector/international-recruitment-fund-for-the-adult-social-care-sector-guidance-for-local-authorities

 

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