How can providers maximise the potential of the Skilled Worker Visa? International personnel partner trusted by the UK health and social care sector, BA Healthcare reveal the answer…

For many health and social care providers, being able to bring in senior carers and then carers under the Skilled Worker Visa allowed them to address serious ongoing workforce challenges.  It has also dramatically changed our business.  For 23 years, we worked just with nurses.  Today, experienced, well qualified carers with really good language skills are a big part of our business.

But the carer and senior carer visas were only ever meant to be temporary.  There are no signs this will change.  Well-documented abuse of overseas care workers by both agents and providers could bring this to an end more quickly than any of us would like.   So as winter draws nearer how can providers make the most of the Skilled Worker visa routes available?

The answer to that question is in three parts.

First, act now.  These vital recruitment routes will not be here forever.  Even if you’re not sure that it’s for you just yet, you can still be prepared, have your UKVI sponsor licence in place, make sure you understand immigration processes and have people in your team who will own the process and ensure it runs smoothly.

Second, recruit ethically.  Always.  Unethical recruitment and exploitation of overseas workers, particularly care workers is a concern for everyone in the sector right now.  Very often, it is providers not looking closely at how people are recruited, or who they are working with it that is allowing it to happen.

We spend a lot of time working with providers and local authorities to educate and build capacity around ethical recruitment.  It is embedded in everything we do – from how we vet and select candidates, always focusing on people with international experience, qualifications and aptitude for the role.  Plan carefully, understand the risks and take action to avoid them.  Ethical recruitment will safeguard you, the people you care for, overseas workers and ensure routes for carers to come to the UK stay open as long as possible.

Finally, think creatively about how your organisation can use the Skilled Worker Visa.  Is finding and retaining great chefs a real challenge?  Do you want to grow but can’t find the skilled construction personnel you need to make it happen?  The Skilled Worker visa offers so many routes that social care providers can take advantage of but very few do.  There is a huge pool of global talent out there than can bring stability to all aspects of your workforce.  The Skilled Worker Visa is not just for the frontline!

To find out how ethical international recruitment can help all aspects of your organisation, talk to us today. uk@ba-healthcare.org