Skills for Care publishes sector trends data

July 8, 2021

According to new data released by Skills for Care, there are 1.67 million jobs estimated in adult social care, compared to 1.3 million jobs in the NHS.

If the adult social care workforce grows proportionally to the projected number of people aged 65 and over in the population, then the number of adult social care jobs will increase by 29% (480,000 jobs) to around 2.16 million jobs by 2035.

Skills for Care published a comprehensive overview of the size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England this month, (July 2021). An estimated 17,700 organisations were involved in providing or organising adult social care in England as at 2020/21. Those services were delivered in an estimated 39,000 establishments.

The information will form a chapter within ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ report, published in September 2021.

The data highlighted some of the key changes to take place in the sector during the pandemic:

  • Between 2019/20 and 2020/21, the vast majority of the increase in adult social care jobs were in CQC regulated non-residential care services (increasing by 40,000 jobs or 7%).
  • The number of care home jobs remained broadly the same over the same period despite decreases in occupancy rates from 86% pre-COVID to 77% in March 2021.
  • The number of jobs in care homes for older people also remained similar in 2020/21, however between March 2021 and June 2021 there is evidence that the number of jobs in this part of the sector has started to decrease.

In order to review workforce trends, Skills for Care has set up a monthly tracking system.

So, which roles have the highest vacancy rates?

  • Registered Nurse – 11.5%
  • Registered Manager – 11.1%
  • Care worker – 9.6%
  • Senior Care worker – 3.8%

In March 2020, the overall vacancy rate was 8.8% and the current rate (June 2021) is 7.7%.

Skills for Care has also drawn comparisons on the number of sick days taken by care workers. To collate the results, 33,400 workers from 1,260 establishments were involved. Data taken from February 2020, represents the period pre COVID-19 and is compared to workers with a change in sickness days between March 2020 and March 2021. Before COVID-19, around 2.7% of days were lost to sickness, since COVID-19, this figure has increased to 5.3% (a 98% increase).

For information about how workforce estimates are created or rounding and suppression rules please visit the Skills for Care webpage on methodology.

Updated information is due to be published in July 2022.


In other news, new legislation aimed to deliver an integrated health and social care system has been introduced to Parliament. 

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