Chris Mahony 16 October 2019

Government launches care recruitment drive

The Department of Health and Social Care is set to launch the second phase of its advertising campaign to help fill 122,000 vacancies in social care.

The £4 million campaign will run until next April across a range of media after the number of online searches containing the words ‘care’ or ‘care worker’ nearly doubled following the first round of advertising in February.

The department claims that 26% of care employers surveyed after that first stage reported an increase in either enquiries, applications, interviews or vacancies filled. A department spokesperson was unable to say what proportion of that 26% actually resulted in vacancies filled.

To mark the launch of the second phase, the department published research showing that 64% of people aged 18-34 would consider a career in adult social care.

Nearly 1.5 million people currently work in the sector. As well as filling current vacancies, the campaign aims to begin recruiting the additional 580,000 workers needed by 2035 because of the ageing population.

Nearly 400,000 people currently working in social care are expected to retire in the next decade.

The launch comes a day after the Care Quality Commission warned that staffing problems are one of the factors that risk creating a perfect storm for people using mental health and learning disability services.

Looking at the sector more broadly, the commission said: ‘Workforce issues remain a pressure for the sector. Staff turnover in all roles has risen over the last six years.’

During that period turnover in social care was 40% - compared to 11.9% for nurses in NHS acute trusts.

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