HC Deb 26 February 2004 vol 418 c557W
Mr. Burns

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on his policy towards the employment in the UK of care workers from(a) non-EU European countries, (b) Asia and (c) Africa. [153914]

Mr. Hutton

[holding answer 11 February 2004]: It is the responsibility of individual employers to ensure that their recruitment policies and procedures comply with current legislation whether recruiting within England or abroad.

Following research and advice obtained from a broad range of industry bodies, in consultation with Work Permits (UK)'s healthcare sector panel, the role of care assistant (or other occupational roles involving duties and responsibilities at a similar level) has been identified as not satisfying the skills criteria of the work permit arrangements. Consequently, even though employers may be experiencing difficulty in recruiting for posts of this level, as the job itself does not satisfy the criteria of the arrangements, applications would necessarily be refused.