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£24m DHSC recruitment campaign leaves 165,000 care posts unfilled

A five-year campaign costing taxpayers almost £24 million has not filled 165,000 vacancies in the care sector, Care England said in a recent roundtable discussion.

Discussing the value of care workers, the West Midlands roundtable heard that in the region, care sector posts had increased by 0.2% in 2021/22, but that starter rate (the number of people starting social care roles) for the region has fallen by over a fifth since 2019 to 28.5 per cent in 2021/22.

This reflects recruitment and retention difficulties rather than a decrease in demand for social care staff, the roundtable heard. It concluded that there is a need to deepen societal understanding of the essential work performed by care workers, and to ensure there is compensation and recognition for workers.

Event panellists shared their personal experiences of care work.

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