A NEW research project will determine if any areas of social care in Wales are particularly dependant on European workers and could struggle with staffing post-Brexit.

The project, funded by £200,000 from the Welsh Government's £50 million EU Transition Fund, will look into whether there are any geographic regions of the country or roles within the social care sector which could be faced with recruitment issues once the UK leaves the European Union next year.

Wales' social care minister Huw Irranca-Davies said: “Social care is a significant employer and contributor to the economy in Wales, with the adult social care sector employing more than 80,000 staff across Wales.

"The care and support provided by the workforce protects and supports some of the most vulnerable members of our society. This is why it is a cross-cutting priority within our national strategy, Prosperity for All.

“The sector is already facing a range of pressures, including recruitment and retention difficulties and increasing demand for care.

"The potential uncertainty Brexit could cause the workforce, especially for EU nationals and nationals who are from outside the EU, exacerbate these challenges."

And deputy chief executive of Social Care Wales Gerry Evans said: “Having a skilled workforce with the right values is at the core of delivering high quality social care in Wales. Ensuring we have such a workforce to meet the growing demand for care and support is one of the main challenges the sector faces over the next decade.

“We know that individuals from the EU have made an important contribution to delivering quality care in Wales and this research will help us to understand approaches that need to be adopted to maintain and extend the social care workforce into the future."