Nationwide shortage of Occupational Therapists prompts the rise of specialist recruitment agencies.
The recruitment of specialist healthcare professionals has been a problem for the UK government for a number of years now. Despite efforts to attract staff to a range of professional streams through advertising and publicity campaigns http://www.connexions.gov.uk), there remains an evident shortfall of qualified professionals entering the health sector to fill the apparent void.
Occupational therapy is one such area where this is felt. Across the country, regional and national newspapers carry advertisements for qualified OT’s to fill the vacancies which appear to significantly outweigh the candidates. Universities have actively used this in campaigns to fill places on occupational therapy courses, citing the number of available opportunities (http://www.brookes.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/ot). Whist this is a welcome move, the 3 and 4 year duration of these courses does little to stem a problem that is immediate.
Specialist recruitment agencies (http://www.rigot.co.uk) have appeared over the intervening years in an attempt to address this shortfall. Their activities have not been restricted to the UK, using immigration laws to import professionals from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa in an effort to fill vacant occupational therapy jobs.
The problem persists and despite increased applicants to university courses, the newspapers continue to advertise vacant occupational therapy jobs and will continue to do so for some time.