International Recruitment Fund Explained | QCS

International Recruitment Fund Explained

Dementia Care
March 15, 2023

Megan Parker, Trainee Solicitor at Napthens, on what care providers need to know about the £15m grant aimed at giving the social care sector a boost.

In February of last year, care workers were added to a shortage occupation list and now the care sector is able to employ overseas recruits to help provide care going forward. To further support the adult social care sector in relation to international recruitment, the Government recently confirmed it is making available a grant of £15 million over 2023 to 2024. It applies to England only.

The Government confirmed it is committed to helping providers make more effective use of international recruitment to help grow the adult social care workforce, alongside wider action to improve domestic recruitment and retention. It said:

‘Our aim is to promote collaborative arrangements which reduce administrative complexity and burden, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) providers. For example, the local support arrangements may offer providers help with identifying overseas candidates, completing sponsorship licence and visa applications, onboarding and ongoing support for international recruits.’

It has been suggested that the funding could be used in the following ways (by way of example),

  • Helping care providers attract overseas candidates
  • A shared recruitment resource that looks at the whole region’s needs
  • Providing advice or checking services for sponsorship licence or visa applications
  • Helping new arrivals to access affordable housing
  • Helping international recruits with solutions to work travel requirements, for example, helping them gain a UK driving licence
  • Developing pastoral support, such as buddying schemes

The Department for Health and Social Care intends to distribute the grant through a lead local authority, which will act on behalf of all the local authorities in the partnership and in collaboration with local care alliances and local providers. A summary of the conditions for partnerships accessing the grant are as follows:

  • Partnerships should consist of local authorities and care alliances or other groupings of local providers. The Skills for Care locality manager may also be able to support the partnership
  • Partnerships should cover a region or a subregion and make sure that the services offered through the partnership are available to all adult social care providers within that area
  • The services offered through the partnership should aim to boost international recruitment for the local area
  • Participation in the partnership should ensure that all partners are engaged in the decision-making process, ensuring the grant money is spent in a way that adds value to the partners
  • The services offered through the partnership will help ensure ethical recruitment and employment practice
  • Any recruitment activity supported by the partnership must adhere to the code of practice for international recruitment
  • The main focus of the support services will be on the recruitment and employment of care workers. However, it could also support the recruitment and employment of other adult social care staff, including nurses, occupational therapists and social workers
  • Grant expenditure should be focused on shared solutions that are available to all providers within the footprint of the partnership.

The fund was launched by the Government on 10 February 2023.

For 2022 – 2023 funding, the deadline for submission of bids to access the funds by partnerships ended on 24 February 2023. By 3 March 2023, the bids to draw on funds were evaluated, and payments approved between 6 – 17 March 2023.

For 2023 – 2024 funding, the deadline for submission of bids to access the funds expires on 17 March 2023, with payments then being approved between 6 – 10 April 2023.

To find out further details of the conditions and process to access the funding please visit the below link:

International recruitment fund for the adult social care sector: guidance for local authorities – GOV.UK (

If you have any queries or need specific advice in relation to any Employment law query, please contact a member of the Napthens Employment team who are able to offer 30 minutes of free advice to QCS members.


Employment Law Specialists


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