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NCF responds to MAC review of ending free movement impact

Vic Rayner – high res (003)

The National Care Forum (NCF) has given its response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s review of the impact of the ending of free movement for social care.

The consultation, which closed on 29 October, was commissioned by the government in July with the specific aim of investigating the impact on the adult social care workforce, including skills shortages, visa options for social care workers, long term consequences for recruitment and training, and employee terms and conditions.

Its findings are due to be reported back to the government by the end of April 2022.

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Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the NCF, (pictured) said: “Ending free movement has had both short- and long-term impacts on the social care workforce. If things remain as they are over the next five years, with no additional measures by government to pay a fair price for care, address the workforce crisis in social care and ensure that care workers can be recruited from abroad if needed, we are going to see an increasingly worsening workforce situation and spiralling unmet need which ultimately puts more pressure (and expense) on the other part of the public sector.

“Ultimately, we face crisis in parts of the system as the capacity of social care services declines, eligibility criteria are tightened by local authorities and the reliance on agency workers increases. We need to see care workers added to the Shortage Occupation List for a time limited period to help deal with the current workforce crisis.”

A government spokesperson said: “Employers must focus on the domestic labour market first; providing training needed to those who could take up roles in social care and improving the reward packages they deserve, rather than continuing to rely on immigration.”

The government pointed out that a number of social care roles were included on the Shortage Occupation List, adding senior care workers had been added to the list in April 2021.

The spokesperson highlighted that eligible health and care workers pay significantly reduced visa fees, adding the government was running regular national recruitment campaigns and had invested in a new £162.5m workforce retention and recruitment fund.

 

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The author Lee Peart

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