Ellie Ames 12 July 2023

Growth in social care workforce but 150,000 vacancies remain

Growth in social care workforce but 150,000 vacancies remain image
Image: New Africa / Shutterstock.com.

The number of filled posts in the adult social care workforce in England increased by 1% over the last year, but it is estimated that there are still more than 150,000 vacancies.

According to a new report by Skills for Care, the number of filled posts in the country’s adult social care workforce increased between April 2022 and March 2023. The previous year, the number of filled posts had fallen for the first time on record, by 4%.

The report found that the vacancy rate in the sector was 9.9%. While the number of unfilled positions had fallen slightly, Skills for Care estimated that there are still 152,000 vacant posts on any given day.

International recruitment has been used to fill care roles, with around 70,000 people recruited from abroad, according to the report.

Professor Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum, said the contribution of foreign carers should be ‘celebrated’, but added that their presence ‘masks a further shrinking of the domestic workforce.’

Professor Rayner said: ‘The gaping strategic hole created by the absence of a funded workforce plan for social care could not be any clearer, and the Government must take action now.’

Cllr David Fothergill, chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, said: ‘A dedicated plan to promote, protect, support and develop careers in social care, alongside better pay, terms and conditions, would both strengthen the wellbeing and recognition of those who work in this essential vocation, as well as benefit the people who draw on care.’

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