Skills for Care has revealed in its latest "State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce" report, that no less than 122,000 adult social care jobs were vacant in England at any one time.

As well as highlighting the hundreds of thousands of unfilled jobs in adult social care, Skills for Care estimated that 580,000 more workers will be needed by 2035 due to a predicted rise in people aged over 65 years.

According to the report, the number of adult social care jobs has risen by 22%, or 290,000 jobs, since 2009. Since then, workers have moved from local authority jobs, down by 37%, to independent sector jobs, up 30%.

The average turnover rate was 31%, or the equivalent of 440,000 job leavers, in the last year, a significant proportion of which was the result of people leaving the sector soon after joining it.

Around a quarter of the adult social care workforce was on a zero-hours contract, with 43% of the home care workforce on such contracts. Skills for Care found that the likelihood of care staff leaving increased if workers were on these zero-hour contracts. Workers who had more training and workers with a social care qualification were less likely to leave their positions.

Another key finding was the fact that since the introduction of the mandatory National Living Wage (NLW), care workers in the bottom 10% of the pay distribution benefitted the most, although wages for the top 40% of earners rose at a slower rate.

Skills for Care Interim Chief Executive Andy Tilden said: “This report using solid data supplied by employers shows that adult social care must now be factored into workforce and economic planning at a national, regional and local level.

“If we continue to deliver social care in the same way it is projected we may need to fill another 580,000 job roles by 2035 and that means our sector is only going to get bigger as demand for high quality care services continues to increase.”

The Skills for Care report is available at: www.skillsforcare.org.uk

Last reviewed 8 October 2019