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Recruitment and retention

According to Skills for Care, approximately 430,000 care workers leave their job every year, and there are around 112,000 vacancies at any one time. Recruiting, retaining and rewarding good care staff is essential to good care.


Information and guidance for international workers on sponsorship in the care sector – March 2024 – Justice & Care

Justice & Care, part of GLAA have published an advice leaflet for International Workers on Sponsorship in the Care Industry. The guidance covers: Your rights, as a Care Worker, in the UK; Joining a trade union; Sponsorship in the UK; Finding Alternative Sponsorship; Additional Work; Labour Exploitation; What is the NRM?; How to raise concerns and get advice; Food/Clothing banks.


Migration factsheet – Updated 5 January 2024 – Home Office

Carers and senior carers – these changes will be introduced as soon as possible in the new year

  • Care workers (SOC code 6145) [2] and senior care workers (SOC code 6146) already in the route will be able to remain with their dependants, including extending, changing employer (within these SOC codes) and settlement.
  • Where a care worker or senior care worker is in the route before the Immigration Rules change, but has not yet brought dependants, they will be allowed to bring dependants during their sponsorship (on this visa).
  • Individuals who are in the UK on any other route, including where that route permits dependants, who switch into the care visa as a care worker or senior care worker after this date, will not be able to stay with (or bring over) dependants.
  • Care providers who were sponsoring workers in exclusively non-regulated activities (and therefore not required to be registered with the CQC) before the rules change should be able to continue to sponsor these workers, including for extensions to their visa on those terms, but not hire new ones.


Code of practice for the international recruitment of health and social care personnel in England – Updated 23 August 2023 – DHSC

This code of practice aims to:

  • promote high standards of practice in the ethical international recruitment and employment of health and social care personnel, and ensure all international recruitment is conducted in accordance with internationally agreed principles of transparency and fairness
  • protect and promote health and social care system sustainability through international co-operation by ensuring safeguards and support for countries with the most pressing health and social care workforce challenges.


Joint workforce planning across ICSs: report – 6 June 2023 – CPA and NHS England

Good quality health and social care is dependent on skilled, well-led and valued staff. Health and care workers have a major impact on the lives of the people they support, and effectiveness of the overall system. Recruitment and retention continue to be major issues for the NHS, local authorities and social care providers – with some areas of the country seeing services close due to lack of safe staffing levels, whilst the need for care and support rises.

This Learning Summit explored the emerging models for joint planning across health and social care at local level. It included examples from Lincolnshire and Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, plus presentations and discussions with people with lived experience, Skills for Care and the NHS England workforce team. Access all the resources, useful link, case studies and recording of the session.


International recruitment fund for the adult social care sector – Updated 17 March 2023 - DHSC

Information on the £15 million fund to help tackle the barriers of international recruitment, while upholding ethical recruitment and employment practices.


International recruitment in adult social care – 8 March 2023 – The Kings Fund

The adult social care workforce is made up of 1.6 million people. International staff make up 16 per cent of the workforce and without them the system would struggle to function. Even with these international staff there are still 165,000 vacancies across the sector.


International recruitment resources – Skills for Care

International recruitment is a way to find skilled and diverse workers, but employers often have trouble navigating the legalities of recruiting internationally. Skills for Care has collated information to support care providers to recruit internationally.


Size and Structure of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce – July 2023 – Skills for Care

The adult social care workforce in England started growing again in 2022-3, according to new data from Skills for Care.

The annual Size and Structure of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England report found that the number of filled posts - roles with a person working in them - increased by around 1% (20,000) between April 2022 and March 2023. The previous year, the number of filled posts fell for the first time on record, by around 4% (60,000).

The new figures show that, at the same time, the vacancy rate decreased to 9.9%, or around 152,000 on any given day, compared with 10.6% (around 164,000) the previous year.

Some employers are using international recruitment to help them address recruitment and retention challenges, with around 70,000 people recruited from abroad into direct care-providing roles. 


Made with Care campaign – November 2022 - DHSC

The Government’s ‘Made with Care’ campaign highlights the wide range of opportunities available to build a career in care.

Running until March 2023, campaign advertising will appear to millions across video-on-demand platforms such as ITV Hub, Sky Go and All 4; radio and digital audio channels such as Spotify; and social media and digital channels like Facebook and Instagram, to direct job seekers to

Help boost your recruitment locally and attract the right candidates for your positions with these free, downloadable digital and print materials.


Top tips for retention – 13 July 2021 – CPA and LGA

Ongoing workforce pressures have meant that adult social care employers and providers have needed to adopt a range of strategies to help retain and support their workforce. Never has this been more evident than in the past year when faced with an extremely difficult and uncertain financial environment and dealing with the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These top tips capture some of the approaches taken by organisations to reduce staff turnover and help retain people in the care and health workforce. Through sharing these tips, the Care Provider Alliance and Local Government Association invite you to share what successes you have had with retention across the social care workforce or lessons that may help others.

Care for others. Make a difference – Department of Health and Social Care

DHSC campaign to recruit staff to the adult social care sector. The campaign includes: care workers sharing their own experiences; a tool to find adult social care jobs in your local area; plus tips on perfecting your CV and succeeding at interviews, plus how to check if care is a career for you.