Social care recruitment concerns

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The Scottish Government has warned Brexit will make recruitment issues within health and social care worse

25th March 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Recruitment for Scotland’s health and social care sector will suffer as a result of Brexit.

Scottish Government Migration Minister Ben Macpherson made the stark warning that shortages of skilled workers in sectors such as social care will only get worse as a result of leaving the European Union.

The minister visited social care charity Carr Gomm in Edinburgh last week to mark the publication of extensive evidence on issues facing a range of sectors including tourism, construction, financial services, agriculture, and education.

In addition, a parallel report focuses on the specific issues facing health and social care, where professionals from a wide range of countries play a vital part in delivering essential services in communities all across Scotland.

Macpherson said: “These papers provide detailed evidence on recruitment needs across the whole Scottish economy, with a particular focus on our vital health and social care sectors. That focus is especially important as UK immigration policy after leaving the EU could create a barrier to entry-level routes into health and care professions in Scotland. Salaries in social care in particular would typically not meet the UK Government’s proposed £30,000 minimum threshold, with average salaries closer to £18,000.

“Our submission also outlines how the Shortage Occupation List for Scotland could be made more flexible and responsive to the needs of the Scottish economy and public service delivery. For example, we’ve argued for some time that there should be a specific role for the Scottish Government in commissioning and determining what occupations are in shortage in Scotland. I will continue to press the UK Government to consider additional mechanisms to address the particular needs of Scotland as we engage with them on the proposals in their White Paper.”

Last week, a debate took place in Westminster as a result of the Address and Assess campaign, which has called for an independent evaluation of the effect Brexit will have on health and social care.

Championed by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) and Camphill Scotland, the campaign has been backed by 102 organisations from across the UK.

Led by Brendan O’Hara MP, SNP member for Argyll and Bute, the debate heard that not a single one of the organisations who have backed the campaign feel that Brexit will be good for the health of the people in Britain.

O’Hara said: “Without exception, every one of the 102 organisations that support the campaign have highlighted the enormous damage that Brexit, particularly the end of freedom of movement would do to their ability to deliver in the health and social care sector.

“With every passing day, a disastrous no-deal situation looms even heavier on the Brexit horizon and we have no answers on the impact to the health and social care sectors. There will be consequences on the sector by the actions of the UK Prime Minister for failing to heed the serious warning of so many organisations.  We owe it to the wider public to press ahead with this campaign.”