The English Community Care Association (ECCA), the representative body for independent care homes, has responded to the recommendations contained within the report Skilled, Shortage, Sensible: The Recommended Shortage Occupation Lists for the UK and Scotland published by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
Martin Green, Chief Executive of ECCA, says: “We welcome the fact that skilled senior care workers are being recognised as a shortage occupation and placed on the list. However, to link this to a recommended salary of £8.80 is simply unrealistic and unworkable”.
Martin Green continues: “The MAC have failed to understand that the care home sector is largely publicly funded and the funding received is simply not enough to pay £8.80 per hour in the vast majority of cases. It is entirely inappropriate to use salary as a basis for skill. Far more attention should have been paid to the great array of skills a senior care worker needs, not just to demonstrate the current Government NVQ target, but on top of this maintain an up to date knowledge of the social and health care policy agenda.
“We cannot understand why skilled work riders and frozen fish cutters are deemed to be skilled without an attached required salary while senior care workers will in essence be prevented from entering this country to undertake the valued work that those currently here already do. It is another hammer blow to a sector that is struggling to meet rapidly increasing costs while maintaining a well-trained competent workforce.
“Finally, the Government needs to reflect that to meet the care needs of an increasingly ageing population and to give them a personalised care plan we will need a greatly increased number of people in this workforce. How will the Government square this circle?”