Recruitment and retention

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Skills for Care estimates that 390,000 people leave their jobs every year - giving an average of approximately 110,000 vacancies at any one time.

Latest figures

  • We estimate that the staff turnover rate of directly employed staff working in the adult social care sector was 30.7%.
  • This was approximately 390,000 leavers over the year, however 67% of leavers remain 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 the sector soon after joining and the sector also has difficulties in retaining younger workers.
  • It's important to note that turnover is not uniformly high.  Almost a third (28%) of employers have a turnover rate of less than 10%.

We estimate that the starters rate in the past 12 months was 37.4%.

This was approximately 470,000 new directly employed starters over the year. Of new starters, approximately two thirds were recruited from within the adult social care sector, therefore the sector retains their skills and experience.


Related reports 

  • For information at England level see Chapter three in the 'State of the adult social care sector and workforce' report 
  • For regional information see chapter three of the relevant regional report.  
  • Access specific pay information in the workforce estimates below. 

Looking for something specific on recruitment and retention?  Contact us.