Social care vacancies to exceed half a million by 2035, says Skills for Care

Andy Tilden cropped

The adult social care sector will need to fill another 580,000 job roles by 2035, Skills for Care has said.

A report from the training charity shows that the number of adult social care job roles will increase by 36% to 2.2 million over the next 15 years, if the workforce grows proportional to the projected number of people aged 65 and over in the population.

The number of adult social care roles in England stood at 1.62 million in 2018, an increase of 1.2% from 2017. There are currently 1.49 million workers employed in the sector.

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Since 2009, the number of jobs has increased by 22%, the study found.

But the rate of increase for adult social care jobs has slowed – between 2014 and 2018, the workforce grew by around 16,000 jobs per year compared to an average increase of 45,000 per year between 2010 and 2014.

The report also found that since 2009, the adult social care workforce has continued to shift away from local authority jobs – a decrease of 37%, or 65,000 jobs – and towards independent sector jobs – an increase of 30%, or 290,000 jobs.

Skills for Care Interim CEO Andy Tilden (pictured) said: “There is rightly a very live debate about the future of adult social care, and the robust data in this report allows us to make decisions about what future service delivery might look like based on what we know rather than gut feelings.

“The report does once again show the obvious contribution our growing workforce makes supporting people to live the lives they want, but also that our sector is now a key part of our national economy. As we estimate we will need to fill another 580,000 job roles by 2035 that contribution is only going to grow, so we need to start thinking about how that is factored into economic planning locally and nationally.”

The government launched the ‘Every day is different campaign’ in February with the aim of filling the 110,000 vacancies in social care.

Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage hailed the campaign a success and pledged a further £4m to support the campaign in 2019-20.

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Sarah Clarke

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