Adult social care jobs vacancies rise to 110,000 in England

The number of job vacancies in the adult social care sector in England rose to 110,000, or 8.0% of the total workforce, in 2017/18, Skills for Care has revealed.

A new report shows that the vacancy rate rose by 1.3 percentage points on the previous year and says around 650,000 extra jobs could be required in the sector by 2035.

Skills for Care chief executive Sharon Allen said: “Employers often tell us their biggest issue is finding people with the right values to work in adult social care and this report shows the scale of that challenge.”

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A quarter of the social care workforce (335,000 jobs) were on zero hours contracts in 2017/18.

Turnover stood at 30.7%, equivalent to around 390,000 leavers, although many of these people moved on to roles within the sector.

The majority (83%) of the workforce was British, with EU nationals accounting for 8% of the workforce (104,000 jobs) and non-EU nationals 10% (130,000 jobs).

Skills for Care said the result of the EU referendum had had little effect on nationality trends in the workforce with the number of EU nationals continuing to rise and the number of non-EU nationals decreasing.

The body added that there was still a risk in terms of workforce supply after the UK left the EU, however, dependent on what restrictions were in place.

Care worker hourly pay in the independent sector increased by 5.2% (39p) between 2016/17 and 2017/18, prior to the introduction of the NLW their pay had increased by an average of 1.9% (13p) per year between September 2012 and March 2016.

Over time, the median hourly rate has become closer to the statutory minimum hourly rate. As at February 2018, the proportion of care workers paid the statutory minimum amount had almost doubled since the introduction of the NLW (from 16% in March 2016 to 27% in February 2018).

The average pay for council care employees was £9.80 an hour in 2016/17, while those in the independent sector received £7.76.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We want to promote adult social care as a rewarding career of choice and attract and retain staff to the profession. We are working to ensure the system is able to meet the demands of our growing ageing population and will soon launch a recruitment campaign to further raise the profile of the sector. In the autumn, we’ll set out our plans to reform the social care system to make it sustainable for the future.”

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