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Migrants given social work clearance

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Ministers have added social workers to the list of professions where migrants will not be barred from taking up positions.

The Home Office has announced that social workers will be added to the shortage occupation list of jobs for which there are not enough resident workers, until at least next March.

Social workers had been left off the original list published by the Migration Advisory Committee in September after evidence backing up the shortage in social workers was not submitted in time.

A Home Office spokeswoman said ministers were confident the MAC would add social workers to the list on a full-time basis.

Town planners have not been added to the list. However, the government has asked the MAC to review whether they should be.

An LGA spokesman said: "We welcome the inclusion of social workers in the list. However, the real problem is with the continued suspension of tier three, or so called 'unskilled' workers.

"This blocks the recruitment of social care workers, crucial to the provision of social care services especially in the South East.

"It also prevents the recruitment of non EU workers in agriculture and the hospitality industry, who make a major contribution to healthy local economies."

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