Responding to the recommendations in the Migration Advisory Committee’s review of the shortage occupation list, Danny Mortimer, co-convenor of the Cavendish Coalition and chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“The review sets out some steps in the right direction – but these are baby steps, when people need giant leaps.
“We welcome the spotlight the MAC has shone on the important role of social care in UK society and our economy. However, we have said time and again that social care workers in less senior roles must also be taken into consideration in any new immigration system, as their role is just as important in caring for some of our most vulnerable people. Lower pay does not equate to lower skill.
“Over the last four years, the Cavendish Coalition has been clear in its message to Government that both social care and health have staffing shortages, and these cannot be resolved by recruiting from within the UK labour market alone.
“We acknowledge and agree that the issues within social care are multi-faceted – but while the sector still awaits the promised long-term plan and associated funding to support a vital increase in pay, it is essential that the new UK immigration system can enable health and social care employers to recruit much-needed and valued staff from outside the UK, at all levels, especially in the face of the twin pressures of winter and a second wave of COVID-19.”