HR

Care sector flags up need for 500K new workers

Over half a million new care sector workers will be needed by 2035, the new industry report for England has revealed.

According to the annual Skills for Care report into the size and structure of the adult social care workforce, England will need a 32 per cent increase in the care workforce – or 520,000 new jobs – to cope with the projected growth in the number of people aged 65 and over the next 15 years.

By contrast, since 2012/13 (seven years ago) the number of adult social care jobs has increased by only 9 per cent (130,000 jobs) to its current level of 1.65 million jobs.

Currently, there are 1.52m people working in adult social care – suggesting there are 130,000 current vacancies in the sector.

The report also finds that there are 15,600 residential care homes registered with the CQC, a decrease of 2.2 per cent on the previous year, although there has been little change (-0.1%) in the number of organisations delivering care. Most organisations (67 per cent) are small, employing up to 20 people. Care only homes make up the lion’s share of residential care (11,100 establishments) followed by care homes with nursing (4,350).

According to the report, this suggests consolidation in this part of the sector, whereby a similar amount of care was being provided, but by a smaller number of establishments. The average number of jobs per bed has also increased over the period, suggesting a higher level of dependency in those using such services.  

Overall, the number of organisations (with 5+ employees) remains at a similar level in 2019/20 as it was in 2012/13 (increasing by 150 or 1% over the period). Care only homes make up the lion’s share of residential care (11,100 establishments) followed by care homes with nursing (4,350).

Other key findings:

  • The rate of increase for adult social care jobs has slowed – between 2014/15 and 2019/20, the workforce grew by around 15,000 jobs per year compared to an average increase of 26,000 jobs per year between 2012/13 and 2014/15
  • Since 2012/13, the workforce has continued to shift away from local authority jobs (a decrease of 25%, or 37,000 jobs) and towards independent sector jobs (an increase of 11%, or 130,000 jobs)
  • Registered nurses were one of the only jobs in adult social care to see a significant decrease over the period down 15,500, or 30% since 2012/13.

The full report is available online  

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