Social care vacancies in Scotland three times higher than other sectors, data shows

Staff vacancies

The level of social care vacancies in Scotland last year was more than three times that across all types of employers, according to new data.

The annual ‘Staff Vacancies in Care Services 2020’ report provides a national overview of vacancy levels reported by care services registered with the Care Inspectorate. 

It found that on December 31, 2020, 36% of services reported having vacancies, a fall of three percentage points in the last year. 

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%). 

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East Ayrshire (47% of services), Edinburgh (47% of services) and Renfrewshire (44% of services) had the highest proportion of providers with vacancies of all local authority areas.  

Lorraine Gray, chief executive of the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), which helped compile the report, said she is aware that the pandemic has made staffing challenges worse and that these challenges continue.

She added: “We’ve worked closely with the Scottish Government and other key stakeholders over 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 and we continue to work closely with the sector, education and training providers to attract more people to work in social care.”

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 know many parts of the social service sector faced challenges filling vacancies before the pandemic and that this continues to be the case.  

“This report gives us a detailed understanding of the challenges across the wider social care sector as registered care services provide this information as part of their annual returns to the Care Inspectorate. The annual returns ask services to share information about the numbers of vacancies, difficulties filling vacancies and related questions, across social care.”

Tags : Care InspectorateScotlandstaff vacancies
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke