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Foreign Workers: Care Homes

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions her Department has had with (a) the Department of Health and (b) devolved administrations on the implications of restrictions in the number of work permits issued to overseas care workers. (149341)

Work permits are issued where employers are able to justify that the work permit criteria are met.

The Border and Immigration Agency has held meetings with the Department of Health since January 2007 to develop updated guidance for issuing work permits for senior care workers.

The Border and Immigration Agency has consulted via correspondence with the Scottish Executive Health Department; Care Council for Wales (on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government); and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety for Northern Ireland since April 2007 to develop updated guidance for issuing work permits for senior care workers.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions her Department has had with care providers on the issuing of work permits for overseas care staff. (149342)

The Border and Immigration Agency has conducted normal business correspondence relating to individual work permit applications and meetings with individual employers at their request. The purpose of such meetings is to discuss issues specific to work permit applications submitted by that employer.

The Border and Immigration Agency holds quarterly Sector Advisory Panel meetings with representatives from key industry bodies (including Sector Skills Councils) and other Government Departments. A key feature of each meeting is to discuss labour market issues affecting the relevant industry such as training, recruitment, skills and pay.

The Border and Immigration Agency has also held meetings with Skills for Care and Development, which is the Sector Skills Council for the social care work force in the UK, since January 2007 to develop updated guidance for issuing work permits for senior care workers.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department plans to publish new guidelines on the issuing of work permits for senior care workers; and if she will make a statement. (149344)

The Border and Immigration Agency published updated guidance regarding work permit applications for senior care workers on 13 August 2007.

This guidance is available on the website:

http://www.workingintheuk.gov.uk/working_in_the_uk/en/homepage/news/announcements/senior_care_workers_guidance.html