By Bethany Hemsley
The Mitigation Advisory Committee (MAC) recommendations for the shortage occupation list (SOL) are still failing to tackle the problems of low pay and immigration in social care.
The MAC has recommended that senior care workers and nursing assistants should be added to the SOL.
With many frontline social care workers ineligible for the skilled worker route and the SOL due to low wages, the MAC has also warned of the need to increase social care salaries to make jobs more attractive to UK workers.
Danny Mortimer, co-convenor of the Cavendish Coalition, believes the MAC recommendation for SOL still falls short for social care workers.
“The review sets out some steps in the right direction – but these are baby steps, when people need giant leaps,” he says.
“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.”
He adds that it is essential that the new UK immigration system enables health and social care employers to recruit staff at all levels from outside the UK as “staffing shortages cannot be resolved by recruiting from within the UK labour market alone.”