May 17

Workforce future forecasting

Posted: 10 May 2017

Dave-GriffithsSkills for Care’s Dave Griffiths talks about a bespoke service from our Workforce Intelligence team that is in increasing demand from local authority commissioners: workforce future forecasting.

Predicting the future is rarely straight forward – who would have predicted Leicester City winning the Premiership - but that doesn’t mean trying to plan for the future isn’t worth the effort.

Skills for Care is currently working with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council who wanted to identify how demand for adult social care and how that care is delivered may change between now and 2030.

At our recent ‘future forecasting workshop’ we posed those very questions to leading adult social care players in Solihull. We presented the base case, showing how the workforce would change if care continued to be delivered in exactly the same way as it is today over the next 15 years. It showed a steady growth but the really challenging issue is that Solihull will likely need up to 50% more workers by 2030. Throw in the existing replacement demand we know is already an issue and the task is clear.

We then asked what factors might influence demand over and above an ageing population – prevention measures, early interventions, integration, social changes and housing policy. The data sparked a really lively debate as lots of ideas flowed.

We followed this by discussing how the way care is delivered may change – for example more people staying at home, people accessing care later in life, living with more complex needs and community resilience were all added to the mix.

The Solihull team valued the chance to get together and dedicate some thinking space to these big issues. Skills for Care's Workforce Intelligence team will now develop these narratives developed in the workshop to model the possible futures to show what they might mean for workforce numbers and service structures in Solihull.

What we provide will be a very valuable tool to help Solihull make critical strategic workforce planning decisions: the bespoke report and model will provide insight to show that if Solihull head in any particular direction they will have a good idea of the likely results and costs.

Knowing all this in itself doesn’t make the challenges any less difficult, and we won’t be right to the nearest worker. But there is no doubt that this innovative use of data linked to really focused thinking means Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council will be better placed to understand the likely outcomes, benefits, risks and costs of choosing one road over the other.