In a recent report, the Care Quality Commission has criticized eight local authorities for the standard of social care they provide, but little was mentioned of the shortage of experience qualified Social Care Workers needed to staff public and private care homes and agencies.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) publishes a list of the 24,000 care homes, nursing agencies and shared lives schemes in England.
The care and hospital sectors employ around 1.4 million people in the UK and the demand for qualified staff remains high.
With an aging population living longer and longer, the need for care and care staff is bound to increase.
Recent Government figures reveal that ageing Britain will see a seven-fold hike in citizens over the age of 100 – up from 11,000 to 80,000 by 2033.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) predict that the over-85’s will more than double from 1.3million to 3.3million.
At the moment, for every 10 pensioners there are 32 people of working age. But in 24 years time that will have dropped to just 28 people.
In other words, by 2033 there will be less people paying into the pensions and welfare ‘pot’, but far more people drawing from it – commonly known as the ‘pensions timebomb’, which is why all political parties recognise the need to increase the age at which we all start to draw our ‘old aged’ state pensions.
Social Care Workers and certain categories of nurses appear on the official shortage occupations list, as recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee in November.
But in a recent speech on immigration by Gordon Brown the Prime Minister said that thousands of posts from the list of those eligible for entry under the points-based system would be removed in the coming months.
Engineers, skilled chefs and care workers could be among the professions affected.
The UK still needs immigration, combined with the control mechanism provided by a points-based system, to bring in new blood to both boost the working population and care for the elderly and sick.
With immigration set to become one of the top five political issues at the next general election in 2101, Immigration Minister Phil Woolas revealed last month that net migration is actually falling.
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