110,000 unfilled care jobs in the UK – an increasing shortfall

There are as many as one in ten unfilled vacancies in some local authorities across England

With other sector vacancies paying a higher hourly rate for less responsibility, the care industry is being left with an increasing deficit in filled positions.

Recent figures suggest that in the last year there has been a shortfall in the number of adult care vacancies being filled.

There are as many as one in ten unfilled vacancies in some local authorities across England.

Currently there around 110,000 adult care vacancies – a rise of around 22,000 in the last year. The Skills for Care charity reports that the vacancy rate has increased between 2017 and 2018 from 6.6% to 8%.

It is suggested in recent findings that industry employers are finding it far more challenging to find people who have the “right values” needed for care work.

A lead practitioner from the Cambridge Housing Society recently commented on the issue, stating that she found difficulties in recruiting adult care workers.

The care sector is not generally well paid. Many supermarket chains are able to offer more competitive rates of pay.

Skills for Care’s chief executive confirmed these findings in a recent report, which also highlights the scale of the challenge faced.

Statistics show that over 30% of carers have left or changed their jobs during 2017-18. To help tackle the problem, the Department of Health and Social Care is planning a recruitment campaign due to launch in the autumn of 2018. The plan aims to promote the industry and highlight the wide range of careers available.

In addition, the department has also been consulting with the Skills for Care organisation. In particular, the subject of the workforce within the industry has been discussed.

A Green Paper is expected to be published in the autumn around the time of the campaign. The purpose of the paper is to outline new proposals for adult care.

Industry feedback suggests that to be a carer is more about being passionate about helping people than the hourly rate of pay. Whilst this is true, many people are more financially motivated.

A spokeswoman from the Department of Health and Social Care has tackled the issues highlighted in a recent statement. She spoke of attracting and retaining staff by promoting the rewards of being an adult social care worker.

Assurances have been made of working towards ensuring that increasing demands are met and that the current system will be able to process this increase. In conjunction with the planned recruitment campaign, it is hoped that the raised profile of the care sector can attract more people to the industry, thus filling the shortfall.

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