The Brexit deadline has come and gone but should we be relieved or is the real impact still to be seen?
With 9% of staff working in Health and Social Care coming from the EU, care providers are still unsure what impact Brexit will have on recruiting EU nationals.
At the start of the year Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that there have been more than 3 million applications to the EU Settlement Scheme, however at the same time the Scottish Government reported that just 57% of EU nationals currently working in Scotland had applied for the EU settlement scheme. So, who are we to believe in these mixed messages.
Skillsforcare.org estimated that 7.8% of the roles in adult social care are vacant, equal to approximately 122,000 vacancies at any time. Whilst at the same time Age UK predicts that between 2017 and 2040 the population of people aged over 65 is projected to increase by 49 per cent. The numbers of people aged over 85 – the group most likely to need health and care services – is projected to rise even more rapidly, nearly doubling from 1.4 to 2.7 million over the same period
With needs increasing and capacity decreasing, any loss of staff from the EU would be disastrous. Yet many companies have yet to grasp the significance of this, with no idea about the current or future recruitment needs of their service.
Should we seek reassurance from the government’s proposed “points-based immigration system” which takes different factors like skills and language into account when awarding visas which would allow people to work in the UK? Sadly not, as the largest proportion of the current 122,000 vacancies would fail to meet the points-based criteria. This is because the salary range remains higher than care workers receive, and their role, as with many others, has not been classed as skilled.
With so much uncertainty you may be surprised to learn that care companies access Brexit grant support has been pulled. This leaves the most vulnerable in society at risk of losing their care packages as care providers struggle to navigate the impact of the Brexit transition. For my part I have been assured a meeting with colleagues in Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government to discuss the impact to the sector. When this happens, I will request a similar discussion across UK departments.
More so than ever, recruitment must go on, that is why Netli have been in discussions with Scottish Government to support a national recruitment campaign. This includes CareJob.co, the first job board from advert to recruitment specifically for the health and social care sector. That alone is not enough unless we all put aside our differences and work together, so here is our offer to the UK.
Netli are supporting Care Providers across the UK in these challenging times by providing free services to:
- HSCPs, NHS and Local Authorities – helping build live data from which to make informed decisions.
- Professional and Representative Bodies and Trade Unions –improving the lives of service users, practitioners and care providers alike, such as those in Career Passports, National Learning & Development
Whilst we can’t predict the exact impact of Brexit we can prepare. With support and guidance any Health and Social Care provider can weather this perfect storm.