OTs placed on Shortage Occupations List
Announcement will make it easier for trusts to recruit more occupational therapists, which will mean better care for patients
Published on 10th October 2019
Occupational therapists have been placed on the UK Shortage Occupations List, according to the government.
Occupational therapists have never appeared on the SOL. But in June, the Migration Advisory Committee - which recommends which jobs are added to the SOL, making it easier to recruit people from outside the European Economic Area if their professions are difficult to recruit to - recommended that occupational therapists were added to the list.
A report by the Migration advisory Committee said: "We recommend including SOC code
(2222) occupational therapists on the SOL. There is significant stakeholder evidence of recruitment difficulties, including a significant workforce report published by London South Bank University. The occupation ranked 19th in the shortage indicators and the vacancy rate is above average (despite a fall in recent years). Overall, quantitative evidence combined with the significant stakeholder evidence suggest that this occupation should be included on the SOL."
The Royal College of Occupational Therapists has been lobbying for occupational therapists inclusion on SOL and said the announcement is "a really positive step for the hard-pressed health and care workforce in the UK".
RCOT Director of Professional Operations, Karin Bishop said: "It will make it easier for trusts to recruit more occupational therapists, which will mean better care for patients. Ultimately the long-term solution to the workforce shortage is to train more home-grown occupational therapists. But with an overstretched health and care workforce, we also need a short-term solution. With vacancy rates at around 14%, managers will now be able to recruit internationally without having to advertise in the UK first which will help to combat some of the recruitment challenges faced in health and social care."
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