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Skills Shortages in Social Care


Councils are being prevented from hiring vitally needed social workers from outside the European Union after the introduction of a temporary immigration cap.
UK Border Agency documents reveal it is turning down applications from local authorities to employ qualified social workers from outside the EU. An interim limit of 24,100 non-EU skilled workers entering the country before April next year was imposed in July, ahead of a permanent immigration cap.
A national shortage of qualified social workers was identified last year in Lord Laming’s inquiry into child protection failures. Local authorities say non-EU social workers are desperately needed until new UK training initiatives produce enough staff to meet the skills shortage.
It is questionable whether the gap can be plugged from within the EU owing to training and language skills but Councils need to evaluate this option and prove the absence of the skilled workers required before attempting to twist UKBA’s arm any further.
One leading recruitment agency specialising in staff from Eastern Europe said they’d received no enquiries from Council’s in 2010 and that they didn’t market to Councils as obtaining job descriptions and recruitment mandates was neigh on impossible.

 

Author: Chris Slay

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