William Eichler 26 November 2018

Care sector faces staff shortage of 400,000 over next decade

Care sector faces staff shortage of 400,000 over next decade  image

The struggling adult social care sector is facing a growing workforce crisis due to chronic low pay and endemic job insecurity, a new report has revealed.

The study from the progressive think tank IPPR has revealed that nearly half the social care workforce — 500,000 people — were paid below the real living wage.

They account for one in 10 of all the UK workers paid below the real living wage (£10.55 per hour in London and £9.00 elsewhere).

The sector currently faces a £3.5bn funding gap by 2025, just to maintain existing standards of care.

Low pay and poor working conditions, caused by what IPPR describe as the ‘chronic underfunding’ of care and a race to the bottom by private providers, has resulted in the sector struggling to recruit and retain the workers it needs to meet rising demand.

The IPPR analysis shows there will be a shortage of 350,000 workers in social care by 2028, rising to nearly 400,000 if freedom of movement ends after Brexit. 

‘The treatment of the care workforce is a national scandal. They provide vital support for some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Yet half of care workers are paid below the real Living Wage,’ said Joe Dromey, senior research fellow at IPPR.

‘Given that over four in five workers in social care are women, poverty pay in the sector is also a major contributor to the gender pay gap.

‘We need to value care workers and we need to invest in social care. Government should use its upcoming Green Paper to introduce a real Living Wage for care workers.

‘Improving their pay and job quality is is essential if we are to tackle the growing workforce crisis and ensure that all those who will need better care as they grow older can be properly looked after.’

Responding to the report, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis commented: ‘Low pay and a lack of funding are at the very heart of the social care crisis.

‘Cash-strapped councils don’t have enough to spend on care. So the firms who get the contracts end up squeezing staff wages. Care workers on poverty pay have to put in very long hours, often across several jobs. It’s no wonder many don't stay for long.

‘They and the people they look after are paying the price. The crisis in care can no longer be ignored.’

Learning from Leeds image

Learning from Leeds

Joanne Volpe the best of giving people the information they need to find a home right for them.
Highways jobs

Deputyship Caseworker

Essex County Council
£20200 - £22220 per annum + benefits
We are pleased to be able to offer an exciting opportunity in our deputyship team, a team that provides a service to protect and support the wellbeing England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Practitioner - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
£38000.0 - £46000.0 per annum
Senior Practitioner - North Essex Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Project Engineer (Permanent)

Havant Borough Council
£37,100
We’re looking for an experienced and enthusiastic engineer to join our well-regarded design and implementation team. Havant, Hampshire
Recuriter: Havant Borough Council

Project Engineer (Fixed Term)

Havant Borough Council
£37,100
We’re looking for an experienced and enthusiastic engineer to join our well-regarded design and implementation team. Havant, Hampshire
Recuriter: Havant Borough Council

Housing Strategy & Partnerships Manager

Redbridge London Borough Council
£48,492-£51,450
The Housing Needs Service is undergoing a radical transformation to achieve successful outcomes for our residents. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The June issue of Local Government News contains the full details of all the winning schemes in the 2019 Street Design Awards. From Children's Play to Pedestrian Environment, find out who has been recognised for their innovation and use of best practice.

This issue also explores how local government pension funds can hedge currency risk, how councils can best address the shortfall in school places, and an update on the number of authorities banning the use of Roundup over safety fears.

Register for your free magazine