The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced a care worker recruitment pilot, taking place throughout November to inform a national campaign due to start in 2019.
The month-long programme aims to promote jobs in the adult social care sector in Gloucestershire and Tyne and Wear. The care worker recruitment pilot starts today (October 31st) and will test various marketing methods in each region, to identify the best channels in different areas to inform a national campaign in early 2019.
The campaign is designed to address the high number of vacancies in the sector. According to Skills for Care's The state of the adult social care sector and workforce report in England, 2018, there is an estimated 110,000 vacancies in adult social care in England. The staff turnover rate in the sector is 30.7%, equating to nearly 400,000 people leaving care jobs every year. The vacancy rate has risen by 2.5% in the past five years, and the turnover rate has increased by over 7% between 2012/2013 and 2017/2018.
Skills for Care forecasts show that if the adult social care workforce grows proportionally to the projected number of people aged 65 and over in the population between 2017 and 2035, an increase of 40% (650,000) more jobs would be required by 2035.
Working with local providers, DHSC is testing initiatives during the pilot in order to inform the national roll-out next year. The programme is looking to covey a positive message about care work - that it is different every day - and is highlighting the sorts of roles and tasks that people working in the care sector carry out, as well as the difference they can make to others.
Minister for Care, Caroline Dinenage, said, 'A career in adult social care is incredibly rewarding and care work is a hugely worthwhile vocation with over 100 different roles on offer. With a growing need for more care workers we want to support providers to recruit the best possible talent.
'Our new recruitment pilots will explore the most effective ways of doing this, to ensure we have a workforce fit for the future and able to meet the needs of some of society’s most vulnerable.'
In Gloucestershire, there are an estimated 1,400 vacancies in the adult social care sector, with 5,500 leaving the sector every year out of a total workforce of 19,000. Tyne and Wear has around 1,700 vacancies at any one time, with a 5.8% vacancy rate. In the past 12 months, the sector has seen 7,400 leavers in the area, where there is a 26.8% turnover rate.
Sharon Allen, Chief Executive Officer of Skills for Care said, 'We’re really pleased that the Department of Health and Social Care are leading this campaign. Working in care can be incredibly rewarding and we hope the campaign will shine a light on the need for people with the right values to become social care workers, now and in the future.'
Care providers who are looking to recruit new care workers are being encouraged to support the care worker recruitment pilot by working with DHSC on local PR activity and pilot evaluation, and advertising their vacancies locally. DHSC says the support of local providers is vital to the communications campaign’s success.