The UK government is seeking to hire thousands of overseas workers to fill 160,000 vacancies in the UK’s care sector.
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is exploring ways to make it easier for workers form countries including India and the Philippines to work in the UK’s social care sector, The Times reported.
Initial plans could see the UK launch an online platform to match understaffed care homes with international recruits ahead of a looming winter crisis
Health secretary Steve Barclay is seeking to launch a hiring spree in which NHS execs could be sent to India and the Philippines to recruit thousands of nurses.
The secretary of state for health and social care also has plans to make it easier to certify overseas qualifications to ensure international workers are able to come to the UK more quickly.
A DHSC spokesperson said the department’s international recruitment taskforce is “considering innovative ways to boost staffing numbers within health and social care”.
“As part of this, we will work with the sector and recruitment experts to examine how to recruit staff from overseas more effectively into adult social care,” the DHSC spokesperson said.
City A.M. understands the UK government is considering various options to boost overseas recruitment, with a view to reducing bureaucracy to ensure the faster hiring of international workers.
Any plan would exclude hiring from countries that are already experiencing their own labour shortages, as listed on the World Health Organisation’s workforce support and safeguard list.
The recruitment would instead focus on countries such as India, Malaysia, and the Philippines which the WHO determines to have sufficient labour.
The plans come after Brexit cut off a key source of workers to the UK’s labour market that saw the UK government lower the requirements for care workers to obtain visas.