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What Drives the Recruitment of Migrant Workers to Work in Social Care in England?

  • Shereen Hussein (a1), Martin Stevens (a2) and Jill Manthorpe (a3)
Abstract

This article outlines the reasons for the recruitment of migrant workers by the adult care sector in England, as revealed by participants in a multi-method study. The background to the study is the changing socio-demographic profile of the social care workforce, notably the employment of non-UK citizens in large numbers from outside traditional recruitment sources within the British Commonwealth. The article reports on 136 individual interviews with different stakeholders from the English social care sector undertaken in 2008–2009. Drawing on a theoretical framework developed during the first phase of the study, the analysis revealed a two-fold explanation of the demand for migrant workers in the English care sector. First, to fill specific staff vacancies, either through direct recruitment of workers from outside the UK or among those already in the UK; and, second, a more strategic, but less common, decision to recruit migrants with specific characteristics. The implications for social policy are set in the context of political concerns about migration and concurrent political aspirations to improve social care through resolving recruitment difficulties.

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Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
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