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LONDON, ENGLAND, February 01, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The United Kingdom faces a shortfall of 61,200 nurses by 2050 due to skills shortages, an ageing workforce and restrictive migration policy, according to Randstad Care, the specialist recruiter.
The UK workforce as a whole will have a deficit of 3.1m by 2050, a figure which represents 9% of the required workforce. Using employment rates from the most recent European population analysis from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, as a measure of demand, Randstad analysed the projected changes in UK population and working age rate for 2050 to establish the gap between employment demand and workforce supply.
The analysis showed that with a population of 74.5m, in 2050 the UK will require a workforce of 35.4m to meet demand. However, will a pool of just 45.1m people (60.5% of the population) forecast to the eligible to work in 2050, even if the employment rate matches pre-downturn levels of 71.6%, an ageing population will leave the UK with only 32.3m people in employment - 3.1m short of the 35.4m required to meet demand.
Care sector one of the most severely impacted
Randstad also forecast the workforce shortfall across some key professions. Nurses represent 2% of the UK workforce , assuming this proportion remains constant, by 2050, the UK will have a deficit of 61,200 nurses. Worryingly for the care sector the UK also faces a deficit of 10,600 social workers.
The education sector will be the worst affected with a projected shortfall of 128,000 teachers, followed in second place by the construction world, with a deficit of 66,800 workers.
Profession Projected Shortfall (2050)
Qualified Engineers 36,800
IT and Tech 33,300
Social Workers 10,600
Qualified Accountants 10,200
Victoria Short, managing director of Randstad Care, said: "No one can question the importance of the healthcare sector and while our projections for the size of the nursing workforce are conservative, they paint a concerning picture for the UK's future welfare. Unless we can plug the employment gap, the healthcare sector is under threat.
We already know from the increasing requests we see every day to supply nurses for urgent temporary nursing jobs, that the service is under severe strain. If it is unable to perform efficiently over the coming decades, there will be serious consequences, not only for the country's health, but the knock on effects of the government having to fund an understaffed service."
The care sector as a whole is suffering shortages across many skill areas and migration is one of the key reasons for the deficiency. Since 2007, overall work related emigration from the UK has risen 16% while work related immigration has fallen 24% over the same period (see chart 1). The combination of poor economic performance and changes to immigration policy have made the UK a less attractive place to work among the world's most talented professionals.
The NHS has also had to deal with a significant drop in the number of international nurses coming to work in the UK. In 2011/2012 approximately 4,000 international nurses were admitted to the UK nursing register. This is a 75% fall since the peak in 2001 when around 16,000 international nurses were admitted .
Indeed, the Royal College of Nursing has cited that the UK has moved from a situation of net inflow of nurses to a position of net outflow in recent years, meaning that more nurses are moving abroad than are coming to the UK with the main destinations being Australia, Canada,
New Zealand and the USA.
Victoria Short, said: "Cuts to healthcare funding and workforce streamlining has forced many UK nurses to consider a move abroad in order to further their careers. This, coupled with a restrictive migration policy has left the UK nursing labour market overstretched and under resourced.
"Unfortunately, the UK represents a much less attractive option for both domestic and overseas talent than it did a few years ago and without foreign talent bolstering the nursing workforce the sector will have to deal with a large black hole over the coming years. If migration policy is to remain prohibitive then there must be a push to incentivise and train new nurses into the workforce."
The Randstad group is one of the leading recruitment & HR services providers in the world with a top five position in the UK and a top three position in fifteen countries including the US, France and Germany.
In the UK, Randstad's business lines serve the public and private sectors across Accounting and Financial services; Business Support; Construction, Property and Engineering; Education; Health and Social Care; Interim Management and Search; Human Resources; IT; Legal; Retail; Sales, Marketing and Creative; Student and Worker Support and In-House and Managed Services.
At the end of 2011, Randstad had 1,930 corporate employees in the UK, working in 255 locations. UK revenue in 2011 was EUR789 million. Randstad was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands. Randstad Holding nv is listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. For more information see www.randstad.co.uk/care/.
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