In an immigration U-turn, the senior care workers have now been added to the shortage occupation list. These changes to immigration rules have been announced by the government to provide the senior care workers with the advantage of obtaining a skilled work visa. Now the senior care workers, managers in care homes and home care agencies as well as the nursing assistants, pharmacist, and laboratory technicians have been added to the list. The change to the shortage occupation list has come about after pressure from several sources.
A new point-based immigration system has been created which works for the whole of the UK. As part of the points-based immigration system, those who are applying to come to the UK under the skilled worker route need 70 points to be eligible for a work visa. Having a job on the shortage occupation list is generally worth 20 points. So, once it is combined with the mandatory criteria of having an acceptable standard of English an offer from a licensed sponsor, and the required skill level which is generally worth 50 points ensure that the senior care workers can reach the 70 points necessary to obtain a skilled work visa.
The free movement for citizens from the European economic area and Switzerland and the earlier Tier-2 visa system for the skilled migrants from outside Europe were replaced on 1st January 2021 with a points system for those skilled workers who want to enter the UK from other parts of the world. It has been also announced that the salary threshold for senior care workers’ jobs will also be reduced from £25,600 to £20480.
Sourcing candidates is now easier for home-care service providers
Martin-Green, the chief executive of Care England, is pleased with the decision of the government, as they have acknowledged the challenges of recruiting social care managers which something everyone has long called for. She hopes that this is just the start of the process towards creating a migration system that supports rather than undermines the development of the adult social care workforce.
Colin Angel, the policy director for the United Kingdom Home Care Association, is also very pleased that the government has taken on board the Recommendation of the migration advisory committee and have added senior care workers and other skilled workers to the shortage occupation list, and now the skilled workers can migrate from other countries and come to the UK to fill in the job roles.
However, it has retold the need to make jobs more attractive for the UK workers by increasing the salaries rather than relying on the migrants’ particular during the covid-19 pandemic. The committee has also recommended two separate lists for all of the delegated nations allowing additional flexibility and reflecting the different needs of each.
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