Adult social care vacancies reach a record high, a report suggests

Dementia Care
October 28, 2022

The number of vacant posts in adult social care have increased to a record 165,000, an increase of 52% in one year.

Key findings from Skills for Care annual ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England report’ include:

  • 165,000 vacant posts – an increase of 52% and the highest rate on record
  • The number of filled posts (posts with a person working in them) has dropped by 50,000 – the first drop in the number of social care workers ever
  • Average vacancy rates across the sector are at nearly 11%, twice the national average
  • Care workers with five years’ experience are paid 7p per hour more than a care worker with less than one year’s experience

Rising demand for care

It says the demand for care has risen, highlighting that social care is facing a complex challenge with recruitment and retention which will be impacting on the lives of people who need social care.

Staff turnover rates within care roles remain high at 29% but not everyone who leaves their job moves away from social care. With more than 60% of people taking other care roles. However, young people are leaving the sector at a high rate – with more than half of people aged under 20 leaving their role within a year.

The data, it says, shows the ongoing recruitment challenges the sector faces. It has been suggested that employers will need to fill around 480,000 more posts by 2035.

Skills for Care CEO, Oonagh Smyth, said: ‘We must talk more about how rewarding social care is to work in so that we attract more people, and we must make it easier for the people who love working in social care to stay by improving terms and conditions and investing in their career development.’

Further Information

Download the report: The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England

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