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12/10/2023   Care Leader Backs Reportís Call for New Workforce Strategy Todayís social care workforce report pub

Care Leader Backs Report’s Call for New Workforce Strategy

Today’s social care workforce report published by Skills for Care clearly shows the very serious challenges currently facing the social care sector.

That’s the view of Melanie Weatherley MBE, Chair of the Lincolnshire Care Association (LinCA), who says that the most concerning issue is the number of people leaving the sector in the past year.

“The report reveals that 390,000 people left their jobs in social care this year, and around one-third of those left the sector altogether,” said Melanie.

“So while the workforce grew slightly by 1% and the vacancy rate fell to 9.9% from 10.6% the previous year, businesses in our sector still have great difficulty in recruiting and retaining skilled staff.

“Even if you can find and recruit the right people, the fact that so many are leaving at the other end means maintaining appropriate staffing levels is a constant battle.”

The report covers the year from April 2022 to March 2023 and highlights some improvements in workforce capacity, largely driven by an increase in international recruitment.

It predicts that we will need 440,000 more people working in social care by 2035 if the number of adult social care posts grows in line with the projected number of people aged 65 and over in the population.

It identifies five factors that are key to retaining staff in the sector:

  • being paid more than the minimum wage
  • not being on a zero-hours contract
  • being able to work full-time
  • being able to access training
  • having a relevant qualification

Where none of these factors apply, care workers are more than twice as likely to leave their jobs as when all five factors apply – a 48.7% turnover rate compared with 20.6%.

At the same time as it published its report, Skills for Care - the strategic workforce development body for adult social care in England – announced plans to develop a new and comprehensive workforce strategy for adult social care.

Melanie Weatherley welcomed the announcement. “The government needs to work with the care sector and the NHS to address this critical issue of recruitment and retention,” she said.

“We can only hope that this report will prove to be the spur that leads to action at the top so we can begin to overcome these challenges for the benefit of service users across the country.”

If you would like to arrange an interview with Melanie Weatherley MBE, please contact Jez Ashberry at Shooting Star by calling 07780 735071 or emailing jez@weareshootingstar.co.uk.

Notes to editors:

  • Skills for Care supports the adult social care workforce in England to lead, deliver and grow, providing information, initiatives and resources to support social care leaders and their teams.
  • Download a copy of the Skills for Care report here.
  • Lincolnshire Care Association is a not-for-profit organisation supporting adult care providers of domiciliary care, end of life care, learning disabilities, mental health, nursing homes, residential care homes, and supported living within the independent and voluntary sectors in Lincolnshire.