The number of adult social care jobs has increased by 21% in the past 10 years, latest figures reveal.
Adult social consists of around 21,200 organisations with 41,000 care providing locations and a workforce of around 1.6 million jobs, according to Skills for Care’s 2018 ‘State of the Adult Social Care Sector’ report, which draws on data from 2017.
The growth in adult social care roles over the past decade is the equivalent of 275,000 new posts, although it has slowed down in recent years.
Between 2016 and 2017, the number of jobs increased by around 1.2% (19,000 jobs), which was not as pronounced as previous years.
Between 2014 and 2017, the workforce grew by around 15,000 jobs per year compared to an average increase of 45,000 per year between 2010 and 2014.
The adult social care sector is estimated to contribute £38.5 billion per annum to the economy in England, based on the report.
The majority (90%) of the adult social care workforce were employed on permanent contracts in 2017.
Approximately half of the workforce (51%) worked on a full-time basis, 37% were part-time and the remaining 12% had no fixed hours.
Around a quarter of the workforce were recorded as being on zero-hours contracts (25%, 335,000 jobs). Domiciliary care services had the highest proportion of workers on zero hours contracts (49%), especially among care workers (58%).
The percentage of workers on zero-hours contracts remained relatively stable between 2012/13 and 2017/18, falling by one percentage point over the period.
This level of turnover and churn indicates that employers are struggling to find, recruit and retain suitable people to the sector. A large proportion of staff turnover is a result of people leaving jobs soon after joining
Skills for Care estimates that the staff turnover rate of directly employed staff working in the adult social care sector is 31%.
This equates to approximately 390,000 people leaving jobs over the year. The majority of these leavers don’t leave the sector however; 67% of recruitment in social care is from other roles within the sector.
Turnover rates have increased steadily, by a total of 7.6 percentage points, between 2012/13 and 2017/18.
“This level of turnover and churn indicates that employers are struggling to find, recruit and retain suitable people to the sector. A large proportion of staff turnover is a result of people leaving jobs soon after joining,” the report stated.
A longitudinal analysis of turnover showed that care workers under 30 years old were more likely to leave their jobs, as were those with relatively lower rates of pay.
Workers holding a relevant social care qualification had lower turnover than those without a relevant qualification. However, adult social care does have an experienced ‘core’ of workers that were found to be less likely to leave the sector and their jobs.
Workers had, on average, eight years of experience in the sector and around 70% of the workforce had been working in the sector for at least three years.
Skills for Care estimates that 8% of roles in adult social care are vacant, this gives an average of approximately 110,000 vacancies at any one time. The vacancy rate has risen by 2.5 percentage points between 2012/13 and 2017/18.
This rise in vacancies, in the context of a workforce that has grown at a slower rate in recent years, suggests that the sector is struggling to keep up with demand as the population ages.