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REC Social Workers response to CSR and immigration cap

REC Social Workers response to CSR and immigration cap
Spending cuts and migration cap a double blow for vulnerable groups, warns REC Social Workers
Following the Governments Comprehensive Spending Review, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has been monitoring the impact that cuts will have on different sectors of the recruitment industry including those providing key front line staff such as social workers.
Local authorities are expected to shed about 100,000 jobs as a result.  At the same time, recent statistics published by the Local Government Association (GLA) show that 85 per cent of Councils struggle to keep childrens social workers, while skills shortages in the sector make it difficult to source qualified personnel.
Commenting on the current situation, Tim Wheeler, Chair of REC Social Workers said:
Following the recent Spending Review, we find the workforce dedicated to providing much needed social care services to our communities either slashed or over stretched.
"Qualified Social Work locums are being allocated caseloads of 30 or more - in excess of the recommended safe level. They are being asked to deal with cases that go beyond their level of experience. Further reductions in management support and monthly supervision mean that social workers will have to do more with limited resources. We are seeing signs that the restructuring of services is adversely affecting a growing number of services users and is eroding continuity of contact between the social worker and the service user.
"The contribution of the Qualified Social Work community must be valued and enhanced rather than decimated through unrealistic and short-termist financial cuts. The crucial flexibility that locum staff provide is something that should be seen as an asset rather than a cost to be cut.
The other big area of concern is the impact of the Government's immigration cap.
Commenting on this, Tim Wheeler concludes:
"The cap is preventing significant numbers of much needed Qualified Social Work professionals from entering the UK. In addition, a shortage of Certificates of Sponsorship is preventing the movement of much needed professionals around the country.  The cap could have a direct on service users and we will continue to urge the Government to adopt a more flexible approach".
In its response to recent consultations by the Migration Advisory Committee and the UK Border Agency, the REC has highlighted the implications that the cap on economic migration will have on the ability of UK businesses to access the right level of talent.


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