Huge shortfall in care workers predicted as report calls for more men to enter sector

More men must be recruited into the care sector to ensure there is an adequate workforce to meet the needs of future soaring numbers of older people requiring care.

A study published by the think tank, International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK) and care provider, Anchor, has predicted a shortfall of 718,000 care workers by 2025 and said more needs to be done to ensure more men and young people view care as a real career option.

Although an additional study from Anchor found 94 per cent of young people thought care was a suitable profession for a man, a quarter of men said they would never consider a career in care.

Jane Ashcroft, chief executive of Anchor, said: “We must address this workforce time bomb. The care sector needs to attract a wider range of staff: young and old, and we need more men to consider care as a potential career – particularly as men are living longer. Our workforce should reflect the diversity of our customers.

Jane Ashcroft, chief executive, Anchor “At Anchor we are creating roles ranging from care assistants through to managerial positions at our new developments. We offer extensive training and promotion prospects that we hope will continue to encourage people to consider joining and staying in the care workforce.”

In response to the predicted shortfall of workers, the Future Care Workforce report has called for the sector to create innovative promotional campaigns to attract men, older workers, the unemployed and the underemployed into the sector.

Half of young people said they would consider a career in care if they were made more aware of the career development opportunities and 23 per cent would be motivated by a change in the public perception of the role.

A sixth of working women are working in health and social care compared to just 4.2 per cent of working men, with women filling 82 per cent of social care roles.

Asa Lehane-Johnson, activities advisor for all of Anchor’s care homes in Surrey, has been championing a career in care for men.

He said: “You learn so much from older people and the job is very rewarding; it’s enabled me to develop personally while also helping older people. Every day is different and I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

“I was looking for a career change, and specifically wanted to find a role that meant I worked with older people. I found Anchor’s approach to care, ‘Happy Living for the Years Ahead’, to be extremely positive, and felt that they were the company for me.

“My initial role as activity co-ordinator was so rewarding, knowing that I was offering a program of activities and social events that had a positive impact on the older people living within the care home.

“Anchor also encourages career development, and that has worked wonderfully for me, as I have been able to develop my career to working within my new role of customer Engagement Advisor.

“Care is an ever increasing and developing sector. Working in care can be so rewarding, and there is so much to learn from the older generation.”

Care charity Anchor has committed to creating 1,000 new jobs over the next three years to meet the growing demands of an ageing population.