Biggest ever rise in overseas staff

    There has been an 82 per cent increase in the number of overseas
    social workers entering the UK, according to research commissioned
    by the Department of Health.

    Between April 2003 and May 2004 numbers rose from 1,390 to 2,524
    – the largest increase recorded to date, said the deputy director
    of workforce at the DoH Rob Webster.

    The unpublished research by Kings College, London, looked at
    overseas social workers processed by regulatory body the General
    Social Care Council, which has responsibility for verifying
    qualifications.

    It found that the biggest increases are from non-EU countries,
    such as India with a 156 per cent rise and Canada with a 118 per
    cent increase.

    Webster said social workers’ motives for moving to the UK were
    similar to those found in other professional groups, such as an
    escape from economic hardship, the opportunity for travel or
    visiting family, and professional development.

    He said an international recruitment campaign similar to the one
    in the NHS could boost the social care workforce.

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