An Aberdeen dad is on a crusade to attract more care workers to the north-east after he faced “tragic shortages” in support for his autistic daughter.
Over the past year, Colin Rawlinson has experienced serious difficulties in finding a carer for his eldest child Lianne, 29, due to a lack of people willing to take on the job.
The father-of-three has previously relied on a wide network of foreign care workers coming to the UK in search of employment within the sector.
And while finding a suitable match has always been a challenge, Mr Rawlinson said the situation has got even worse following Brexit – with many either leaving for better pay or not coming to the country at all.
The 71-year-old said: “Finding a carer for my daughter has been a challenging task for 25 years, but it’s really in the last 12 months that it’s got chronically difficult.
“Due to the shortage of care workers, I’ve had to do the job of caring for my daughter for the past eight months, because I couldn’t find anyone at all.
“It has got dramatically worse since Brexit, because previously we have relied upon a network of foreign carers.
“Ultimately, we need to attract thousands upon thousands of care workers and the government should make it easy for anyone to come over here to be a care worker.”
Drive to bring more care workers to Aberdeen from overseas
Mr Rawlinson has now taken matters into his own hands to show the north-east as an appealing destination for care workers and attract more job seekers from overseas.
He has recently launched his own recruitment platform – Scottish Health Jobs – to help his daughter and others who might find themselves in the same difficult situation.
The app, which he described is like Tinder specially designed for care workers, enables people to advertise or apply for social care jobs using a short video.
Mr Rawlinson said he chose this format to highlight that communication skills and empathy are more important that any qualifications in this sector and help people connect.
He added: “Retention is a big issue and that’s why I’ve spent the last five years building this platform to help us find better care workers by using video applications.
“It enables care organisations to upload a job video describing what they are looking for – much better than the job descriptions – and candidates apply with a video.
“I’m trying to make it easier for people to connect and hopefully attract more people to come over here and help our loved ones that have disabilities or are aged.
“Everyone who wants to come to Aberdeen and become a care worker should be welcome and encouraged.”