Agencies want government money to help overseas recruitment

Employment agencies are calling on the government to help
councils with the initial costs of settling in social workers from

Several NHS trusts work with recruitment agencies to arrange
accommodation for nurses from the Philippines and parts of Africa
and then deduct rent from their salaries once they have started

Local authorities have already brought in staff from Australia,
New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and India.  But some argue there
is an untapped source of staff in other parts of the developing

Lawrence Perry, who runs Dolma International Placement
Corporation, said there were thousands of trained social workers in
the Philippines who could be recruited, but there had been little
interest from councils or agencies because of the difficulty in
finding them affordable accommodation. 

But Philip Poole, a director of international agency Synergy
Recruitment, said the red tape involved in recruiting from the
Philippines was a hindrance. Workers from that country need a job
offer before they can obtain a visa, whereas those from
Commonwealth countries can enter on a two-year working visa.

However, there have been complaints from developing countries
that their trained professionals are being lured away. In 2001, at
Community Care LIVE Dr Zola Skweyiya, South Africa’s minister for
social development complained about the poaching of South African
social workers in the UK when they are needed in their own country.
Last year, the Filipino Ambassador in the UK said that the NHS was
recruiting the country’s best nurses; nearly 25,000 Filipino nurses
work in the NHS.

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