Posted: 30 November 2021
Skills for Care’s Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) is the leading source of workforce intelligence for the social care sector in England.
Through using ASC-WDS, social care providers contribute key data about their organisation and workforce which helps to paint a clear picture of our sector. This intelligence is used by key decision makers including the Government, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), and local authorities to aid planning and policy for the sector.
The data collected in ASC-WDS underpins Skills for Care’s annual workforce reports, including our recently released ‘State of the social care sector and workforce in England’ report.
By using ASC-WDS social care providers have a real opportunity to help contribute intelligence which shapes our sector.
As we officially launch our service, which was first set live in 2019 and is already used by 20,000 providers, we look at how this important data provided by social care providers has been used over the past year.
Health and Social Care Select Committee’s inquiries
The Health and Social Care Select Committee (HSCSC) is a parliamentary committee which scrutinises the Government’s work on health and social care. Skills for Care uses data and intelligence from ASC-WDS to submit evidence to their inquiries.
For example, we used analysis of the data to submit written and oral evidence to their workforce burnout and resilience inquiry.
The final report examined issues including workforce wellbeing, workforce planning, equality and diversity, and culture. ASC-WDS data was utilised within this report to provide insights on the size and structure of the workforce and projections for the future workforce.
This data was key in shaping recommendations which aim to best foster a positive culture within the social care workforce and promote health and wellbeing.
Vision for a future workforce strategy
Leading bodies across the social care sector used data collected from ASC-WDS to aid the collaborative creation of a ‘Vision for a future workforce strategy.’
This strategy has been developed to analyse how to support the best conditions for an effective workforce and working environment, now and in the future. The goals and actions identified within this strategy are based on data which provides context on the sector right now, in order to identify what steps are necessary to drive improvement.
For example, Skills for Care data suggests that only 45% of care workers have a Level 2 qualification. Skills for Care’s analysis shows that where employers invest in the skills and knowledge of their workforce, they have lower turnover rates. So, the strategy recommends we develop a national recognised learning and skills framework and ensure that the workforce has access to career long learning and development opportunities. These recommendations are made possible from the data gained through ASC-WDS.
MAC review of the impact of the ending of freedom of movement on the adult social care sector
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has been commissioned to conduct an independent review looking at the impact which the ending of freedom of movement has had on the adult social care sector.
To help develop this important report, which is due to be published in April 2022, Skills for Care will be working with the MAC. We’ll be drawing on data collected in ASC-WDS including vacancy rates, the nationalities of social care workers, and the trends of new people joining the sector.
This report will feed into key discussions around issues such as visas for social care workers, and how to manage recruitment challenges and skills gaps in the sector.
Skills for Care’s state of the workforce report
The data collected in ASC-WDS is what underpins Skills for Care’s annual ‘State of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ and ‘Size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ reports.
These reports provide vital insight which helps key decision makers to understand our large and complex sector.
As well as providing insights for decision makers, these reports also help to raise public and media awareness of social care. Our most recent report released in October this year was covered by over 100 news publications, and featured across many of the major national news outlets.
Sector workforce planning
As well as aiding the development of important sector reports, strategies and policies, the data provided in ASC-WDS and shared through Skills for Care’s workforce intelligence reports helps many people across the sector with day-to-day workforce planning, from helping local authorities to plan resources for the local area to helping providers to understand and benchmark their organisation within the sector.
The data is also used by Health Education England and integrated care systems to support joint health and social care workforce planning
To the 20,000 providers already sharing their data in ASC-WDS we want to extend our thanks for the contribution you’ve made to all these important decisions, discussions, and plans.
If you would like to play a part in sharing your insights to help shape the sector, find out more about ASC-WDS and sign up.