An extra 3,000 foreign-born care workers will have to be recruited to work in the UK every year until 2030, unless pay and conditions in the sector improve, a new report has found.
Oxford University’s Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) found that foreign-born workers already account for 19 per cent of the UK’s care home and home care workforce, and the country’s ageing population is likely to increase demand even further.
The report found that six out of 10 care workers in London are foreign-born, and its co-author Alessio Cangiano, said: ‘Unless government acts to address the root causes of the shortage of staff, there will be a growing demand for care workers from abroad. If so, this should be planned, not an unintended consequence of low pay.’
The study recommends that if the government continues to rely on foreign-born care workers to meet the care needs of the UK’s ageing population, it should keep the limited migration entry channel for senior care workers, and monitor the potential need for long-term migrants if insufficient UK workers are attracted to the sector.
The report also calls for employers to ensure that migrants have access to English language classes, that the Equality and Human Rights Commission addresses discrimination against migrant care workers, and that the Care Quality Commission and local authorities should monitor the trend of older people employing foreign-born care workers in their home.