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
    February).

    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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