Adult social care vacancy rate rises to 8% with 110,000 unfilled posts in England

There are around 110,000 unfilled posts in the adult social care workforce in England, according to a new report.

The majority of vacancies, 76,000, are for hands-on care workers, according to a report by the charity Skills for Care – which focuses on workforce development in adult social care in England.

Across the entire workforce, the vacancy rate was around 8% – a rise from 6.6% in 2017.

Meanwhile, 31% of carers left or changed jobs in 2017-18.

The report also found that around 335,000 people employed in the sector were on a zero-hours contract.

A fifth of all workers, 320,000 jobs, were aged over 55, Skills for Care found.

The majority of the adult social care workforce were British, 8% had an EU nationality and 10% were from outside of the EU.

Responding to the report, Candace Imison (pictured), director of policy at the think tank Nuffield Trust, said: “Today’s figures show social care is struggling even more to get the workers needed to provide vital services, with turnover and vacancy rates continuing to rise.

“Meanwhile, the Government is considering proposals to end less skilled migration from the EU.

“Either we address the financial crisis that has pushed social care providers too far into the red to pay decent wages, or we continue to allow migration to fill these gaps after Brexit.

“If the UK Government dodges these decisions in the next few months, it will mean directly endangering some of the most vulnerable people in our country.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “We want to promote adult social care as a rewarding career of choice and attract and retain staff to the profession.

“We are working to ensure the system is able to meet the demands of our growing ageing population and will soon launch a recruitment campaign to further raise the profile of the sector.

“In the autumn, we’ll set out our plans to reform the social care system to make it sustainable for the future.”

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) The Nuffield Trust.