The government has announced that they will temporarily relax immigration rules for overseas care workers.
Social care workers, care assistants, and home care workers will be added to the shortage occupation list and will become eligible for a health and care visa for a 12-month period. This will hopefully address the issue with gaps in the workforces as trusts have been experiencing problems with hiring and retaining staff since Brexit.
It was agreed that care workers should be added to the shortage occupation list as EU candidates now also require a visa to work in the UK which has put strain on the government attempting to fill vacancies.
The inclusion of care workers in the shortage occupation list will allow candidates a minimum annual salary of £20,480 and those eligible will also be able to move to the UK with their dependents. The processing of these visa applications will also be fast-tracked for applicants and visa fees will be reduced.
According to the government, the temporary changes should be able to help alleviate some of the challenges in the care sector.
A recent unprecedented challenge is the surge of Omicron which has put pressure on staffing has added to care providers experiencing high vacancy rates and turnover. On top of these current shortages, challenges continue to arise from the burnout the pandemic has brought.