The National Care Forum (NCF) – the leading association for care and support organisations – responds to the government’s announcement that it is working on plans to recruit thousands of foreign workers to plug staffing gaps in the health and social care sector.
Professor Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the NCF said:
“There is no doubt that there is a need to take action in relation to the social care workforce. An international workforce has always been a fundamental and valued element of the delivery of frontline care, with colleagues welcomed from across Europe and a wide range of other countries, and efforts to support and streamline current approaches to international recruitment would be welcome. However, there is much work to be done to make this accelerated push a meaningful reality for employers, and critically for those who are choosing to come and work and support the care sector. Fundamental issues for those staff coming to the UK around pay, housing, transport and ensuring a supportive recruitment and employment experience must be addressed if this is to be a success. In addition, the recent changes to the Shortage Occupation List which is enabling this approach for frontline care staff have only be amended on a temporary basis. This has to be made permanent immediately.
“This has to be part of a much wider strategic approach to the long term sustainability of the workforce which includes better pay, terms and conditions. It is imperative that alongside this move is a streamlined long-term People Plan for the sector that brings meaningful long term relief to the care sector.”