The health and social care sector is to have its first dedicated trade and recruitment show to help ease the high volumes of staff shortages across the sector. Care Home Professional reports that Jobshows, a specialist job events company based in Milton Keynes, will hold the first event in White City, London this June.
There are currently over 133,000 vacancies in the NHS, including around 47,500 nursing vacancies. This represents an overall vacancy rate of 9.7%. The adult social care sector is in an even worse position, with 165,000 unfilled posts amounting to 11% of the workforce, which is the highest level since records began.
The recruitment problems are attributed to a combination of low pay, unsatisfactory working conditions, post-pandemic staff burnout, and a fall in the number of overseas workers following Brexit.
Speaking about the forthcoming London recruitment event, organiser Simeon Jackson said: “The NHS is an amazing institution but it’s well documented that it is vastly under-resourced with staff vacancies at a five-year high so upon speaking to lots of trusts it was clear that they were crying out for a solution to promote in-house recruitment.”
He added: “Health and Social Care Live is our first to be totally dedicated to healthcare and we’ve already had a number of NHS trusts and care home providers sign up as they are so desperate to recruit staff. We have an 83% re-booking rate at our regional recruitment shows so we’re expecting this new show to be really successful.”
The event will be held at the Westfield Shopping Centre, White City, London, where it will attract passing visitors from the average footfall of 250,000. It is also easily accessible by car and public transport.
Mr Jackson said: “Westfield W12 is considered the UK’s most prestigious shopping destination and has a natural footfall of around 250,000 every Friday and Saturday. By taking the show to the main hub of a busy shopping centre, we take our NHS trusts into the heart of the people, making it even more accessible for job seekers.”
Meanwhile, the UK government is making £15m available to local authorities over the next two years, to help them recruit more workers from overseas for the adult social care sector.
The funds will help to identify suitable candidates, reduce the administrative burden of recruitment, aid the onboarding process and help to support the new recruits in their job roles. It is intended to be of particular help to small and medium care providers who find the current recruitment barriers costly and time consuming.
The scheme is also intended to create a shared recruitment resource across each of the nine English regions. The fund will primarily focus on the recruitment of care workers, although the Department of Health and Social Care have also permitted the sourcing of social workers, occupational therapists, and nurses.
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