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Care England Press Release: New figures but no suprises

by Kirsty Kirsty

In response to new figures from the Home Office about the Health and Care Worker visa, Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said:
“Since the Government’s announcement of their intention to ban overseas care workers from bringing dependents to the UK, the number of overseas care worker applications has decreased by more than half. This directly contradicts the Government’s own estimation of impact, which stated the policy would not affect applicant numbers. With the policy now in place, the sector has been left to pick up the pieces.”

Between April and September 2023, 88,800 ‘main’ applications were made for people who want to go into a care and support role. Between October 2023 and April 2024, only 40,800 applications were made, accounting for a reduction of over 50%.

When the policy was first announced in December 2023, Care England and others in the sector warned that it risked reducing overseas applicants at a time when they were a lifeline for the sector.

Professor Green spoke in front of the Health and Social Care Select Committee in December 2023, noting the care sector was blindsided by this change. He also pointed out the clear disparity in the way healthcare and social care are treated, with no such legislation chances being made for international recruits for the NHS.

Professor Green continues:
“While we all want to see a sector that can be sustained by domestic labour, there is nothing to suggest the Government’s workforce reforms have made the sector a sufficiently attractive destination for work such that it can cope with this drop in international applicants. These figures only serve to renew the need for meaningful workforce reforms that make the sector an attractive destination for domestic staff if we are going to shut off the route for overseas recruitment.”

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