Posted: 14 October 2021
It’s that time of year again as we have launched our annual ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ report.
This report is a crucial piece of intelligence for the sector, providing comprehensive insights to the Government, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), local authorities and other decision makers into what the sector looks like right now, and where support is needed to best plan and develop for the future.
These important insights into the adult social care workforce wouldn’t be possible were it not for the 20,000 social care providers inputting their data into our Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS). By sharing your data with us you’re playing a key part in helping to shape our sector and inform future workforce planning, and for that I want to say thank you.
At a time when our sector is facing many challenges, including recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet also has so much opportunity to grow and provide even better support in communities, it is clear to me that having access to data from frontline employers is more important than ever to support decisions that will impact the future direction of the sector, our workforce, and the people who draw on care and support.
Value of social care
The release of our latest ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ report comes just after the release of our first ever ‘The value of adult social care in England’ report, which revealed that the adult social care sector contributes £50.3 billion to the English economy.
That report argues that we need a shift in how social care is paid for, moving from hours spent providing care and support to outcomes achieved.
Considering this option for our sector opens up many opportunities for a better supported social care system which is well-funded, seen by the public as highly-skilled and widely valued for the important support that it provides in our communities.
These are all goals which Skills for Care also intends to achieve through our recently launched three-year strategy, which aims to support and empower future social care leaders, employers and the wider workforce to be a part of a fair and just society. One where people can access the advice, care, and support they need to live their lives to the fullest.
What our ‘State of’ report tells us
This year’s ‘State of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ report certainly highlights that there is a critical opportunity to value, develop and reward our social care workforce.
Social care is a growing market, which we know is important to our economy and our communities, and we have seen that through the pandemic where people working in social care turned up to work every day in the face of a dangerous virus.
Yet, since March 2021, we have seen a decrease in jobs (filled posts) of around -1.8%. This is the first time on record that the number of jobs (filled posts) has fallen at the same time as vacancy rates are increasing.
This can offer an opportunity to connect new people to fulfilling and rewarding careers in social care; our report found that we have 105,000 vacancies being advertised on an average day. These are opportunities for people to work in great roles where they support people in their communities, can develop skills, and build a fulfilling and long-lasting career.
Being able to provide comprehensive insights through our workforce intelligence reports is crucial to the work that we do at Skills for Care and is an important step in helping us to support, develop and grow the adult social care sector.
We can only do this with the support of those in the sector who are supplying their data, so we can highlight where support is needed and where there are opportunities for growth, promotion, and innovation.
And so again, on behalf of all of us at Skills for Care, thank you for sharing what is happening in your organisation that will help us model a picture of what the future could look like, and to have the voice of the social care workforce heard loud and clear.
This report is just one way we will use your input to make sure we can create a sustainable workforce as we enter a period of reform for adult social care.
Read and download ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ report.