The post-Brexit immigration policy has made it “virtually impossible” for care providers to recruit experienced and immediately available staff from the EU, a live-in care provider has warned.
Paula Beaney, quality assurance director at Promedica24, said that since the implementation of the new rules at the beginning of the year, health and social care sectors have been facing “even greater” difficulties in recruiting a suitable workforce.
She added that despite the government’s call to make jobs in the care sector more attractive to UK workers, rather than relying on migrants, the reality is “there are not enough people in the UK that want to work in the sector” to meet growing demand.
Beaney believes the low interest is driven by a lack of value given to social care jobs and a view that care jobs are less important than others.
She said: “This narrative has been further fuelled by the introduction of the new immigration policy, which has sent a clear message to the public that the government sees care workers as an unskilled and easily replaceable workforce. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Beaney believes the Post-Brexit immigration rules, together with the pandemic, have exacerbated pre-existing workforce shortages within the sector, putting at risk the health and wellbeing of older and vulnerable people reliant on care services.
“Although the social support campaign, ‘Clap for Our Carers’, was a nice gesture of solidarity with the care sector, the facts are that the warm words of appreciation from the Government were followed by a highly damaging immigration policy that ultimately put even more pressure on an already strained NHS and care sector,” she said.
“Furthermore, whilst the NHS’s ‘People Plan for 2020/21’ stated that looking after health and wellbeing of the staff was the main priority, the government’s decisions have directly contributed to increased workforce shortages, affecting both the quality and availability of care.”