October 13, 2021

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The latest report from Skills for Care reveals the significant impact the pandemic has had on both the short and long-term challenges faced by the workforce.

The annual ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ report – based on 2020/21 data provided by sector employers to the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) – reveals that on average, 6.8% of roles in adult social care were vacant in 2020/21, which is equivalent to 105,000 vacancies being advertised on an average day.

The vacancy rate in adult social care has been persistently high at above 6% for the previous six years.

The turnover rates across the sector remain high, at 28.5% in 2020/21. This figure had decreased during the pandemic, but since March 2021 many employers report that retention is now more difficult than before the pandemic. The rate was higher for registered nurses at 38.2%, much higher than for their counterparts in the NHS (8.8%).

Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth said:

 “This report is a stark reminder that our recruitment challenges continue, and to help tackle that we need to properly reward and value care workers for their high skill levels and dedication. We know that this is a priority for the new Government White Paper expected on adult social care this year and look forward to seeing the measures contained.
Social care is fundamental infrastructure in our communities, it allows people in our families, our friends and people in our communities to be supported to live the lives they choose. And the workforce in social care are the people that provide that support every day, in every single community.

The workforce is so important but we know from speaking to employers that the pandemic has had a huge impact on people working in social care. The rich data from this authoritative annual report confirms this pressure, as well as showing us longer term trends in adult social care.

We’re grateful to all the employers who continued to submit their data to ASC-WDS in challenging times, and this report is just one way we will use it to make sure we can create a sustainable workforce as we enter a period of reform for adult social care”

To access the report, please visit: The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England (skillsforcare.org.uk)