Social care job vacancies three times higher than other sectors, new workforce report finds

Job vacancies in the social care sector were more than three times higher last year than in any other form of employment, a report has revealed.

The Staff Vacancies In Care Services 2020 report, from the Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), provides a national overview of vacancy levels.

On December 31 2020, 36% of services reported having vacancies, a fall of three percentage points from the previous year.

A spokesperson from the SSSC said that to put this in the context of the wider labour market, the Scottish Government’s Employer Skills Survey in 2020, which covers all types of employers, found that 11% of all establishments, across all sectors in Scotland, reported having a vacancy.

Service types reporting the highest levels of vacancies were housing support (60%) care at home (59%), care homes for older people (55%) and care homes for adults (48%).

The three regions with the highest proportion of services with vacancies of all local authority areas were East Ayrshire (47%), Edinburgh (47%) and Renfrewshire (44%).

Peter Macleod, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “It is important to remember the data in this report reflects the situation in care services in 2020, and was provided by them at a very difficult time.

“We are all grateful for the incredible dedication and commitment our skilled and qualified workforce displayed during that particularly challenging period, and indeed continue to display.”

Lorraine Gray, chief executive of the SSSC, added: “We’ve worked closely with the Scottish Government and other key stakeholders during the past two years on their campaign to promote adult social care jobs, “There’s More To Care Than Caring”.

“This is just one strand of our careers work to help address staffing and recruitment challenges in the sector.

“We continue to work closely with the sector, education and training providers to attract more people to work in social care.

“It is a worthwhile and rewarding career for people with the right values, there’s the chance to do training and qualifications and progress your career as part of a professional workforce.”

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