Care council to ease hire of Filipino staff

The General Social Care Council has met with government officials
from the Philippines over plans to make it easier for their social
workers to obtain jobs in the UK.

The GSCC has advised the Philippine Embassy in London about the
requirements social workers from the Philippines need to practise
in the UK. It has also agreed in principle to work with the
Philippine government to help those wanting to join its register of
international workers. The register replaced the letter of
verification system last month.

A GSCC spokesperson said: “The Philippine Embassy was asking what
standards needed to be met so that it would be fairly
straightforward for them to meet UK standards and so their own
standards mesh nicely with ours.”

There are more than 25,000 Filipino nurses working in the NHS but,
until now, it was believed the difficulties in recruiting social
workers were too great.

However, experts say there is a surplus of social workers in the
Philippines and not enough professionals from countries, such as
South Africa, Australia and Canada, to properly tackle the large
vacancy rates in some social services departments.

In February, Bournemouth Council became the first local authority
to recruit social workers from the Philippines – two have already
started work and four more are expected to follow (news, page 18, 5

Lawrence Perry, of Dolma International Placement, which is trying
to recruit Filipino social workers to work in the UK, said he was
in discussions with recruitment agencies and five local
authorities. He has found 200 professionals keen to work in the UK.

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