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UK risks becoming reliant on overseas care workers, report warns

The UK risks becoming highly reliant on overseas care workers after nearly 58,000 visas were issued for the sector last year, a report says.

Analysis by the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford found that the demand for foreign staff had left the NHS and care homes open to “vulnerabilities” including “exposure to international competition for health workers and risks of exploitation”.

The study, commissioned by the employment group ReWAGE, also examined where care workers were coming from. In 2022, 99% of care workers sponsored for work visas in the UK were from non-EU countries. The top countries were India (33%), Zimbabwe (16%), Nigeria (15%) and the Philippines (11%).

Dr Madeleine Sumption, the director of the Migration Observatory, said: “Health and care employers have benefited a lot from international recruitment.

“But relying this much on overseas recruits also brings risks. For example, care workers on temporary visas are vulnerable to exploitation and the rapid growth in overseas recruitments makes monitoring pay and conditions a real challenge.”

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Source: The Guardian, 27 June 2023


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