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Social care as first work experience in England: a secondary analysis of the profile of a national sample of migrant workers

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Migrant workers are increasingly important to the care sector in England as well as in other developed countries. The profile of migrants is likely to continue changing due to reforms in immigration policy and legislation limiting the range of jobs open to migrants from non‐EU countries while facilitating migration from the new European Union accession countries. This article reports on detailed secondary analysis of newly available data on the characteristics of migrants working in the care sector as their first job. The analysis was undertaken in 2009 as part of research investigating the contribution made by migrant care workers in England. The sample was identified from the new National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDSSC), which is completed by social care employers in England. Workers whose ethnicity was identified as not White British and who had their previous job abroad were used as a proxy of recent migrants. The analysis shows that this group of workers has a significantly different profile compared with other workers. Recent migrants in the care sector were significantly younger and held higher qualifications relevant to social care; however, there were no significant gender differences. They were also significantly concentrated in the private and voluntary sectors and in direct care work. There were variations between recent migrants’ ethnicity and their job roles, with Asian workers more prevalent in senior care positions. These findings have a number of possible implications for social care workforce and providers, particularly within the current context of changing migration rules and social care reforms.
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Keywords: migrants; national dataset; social care workforce; statistical analysis; workforce development

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College London, Strand, London, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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