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UK will need 3,000 overseas care workers per year, says report


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.


Readers' comments (3)

  • They keep on insisting that the UK does not need overseas nurses, but when are they going to realize that overseas nurses are the backbone of the UK health care system. Take a look at USA for example. The thing is they wanted to be different from the rest. They want to set an example that they can survive w/o the overseas nurses. They have to realize that almost half of the population in the UK are ageing population and no matter how much they want to entice the local young people to study nursing, the enrolless for nursing are going down and down, coz who wants to study nursing at this stage of economic recession.They have the power to change the rules and I have the premonition that, the rules will have to be reversed if worse comes to worst.

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  • It is high time that the public face the reality behind the discrimination that foreing nurses are facing in uk. Those from outside the EU have to do test of english and have an overal score of 7 out of possible 9 which does not affect other nurses from other EU countries. How many countries in the EU have English as their first language most nurses from Africa speak english as their first language due to diversity of local languages in their country most african countries have adopted english as their first language. I think when the UK needs you they treat you well and when they have gotten what they want from you they treat you like a slave. They should make it across the board that all nurse from non english speaking countries should undergo test of english and the should think about the achievability of the 7 points across the board

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  • I have to disagree completely with the first poster on here.

    Foreign nurses do play an important role in the NHS, and nursing is one of the few skills that should always be welcomed with open arms into this country. I work alongside many foriegn nurses and they are all a benefit to the NHS.

    HOWEVER, they are certainly NOT the backbone of the NHS, the NHS will NOT crumble if they were not here. That is a lie propogated by the politically correct media and those people who cannot think beyond a liberal agenda.

    The truth is if all the foriegn nurses did leave tomorrow, there would still be a huge workforce of British born nurses - trained and about to qualify - who would easily fill that gap.

    It has been extremely difficult over the last few years for newly qualified nurses to get jobs because of the idiots in power and moronic ideas such as job freezes. How many qualified nurses got sick of the situation and left the country or even left the profession entirely? How many newly qualifieds even now struggle to find work?

    Foriegn nurses are important, yes. They are welcome, yes. But lets not forget that this country has a wealth of British born qualified and skilled staff who should ALL be hired first!

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