Charity Skills for Care has released new findings showing there are 165,000 vacant posts in adult social care - an increase of 52% and the highest rate on record. Further findings show:
- The number of filled posts (posts with a person working in them) has dropped by 50,000 – the first drop in the number of social care workers ever.
- Average vacancy rates across the sector are at nearly 11% which is twice the national average.
- Care workers with five years’ experience are paid 7p per hour more than a care worker with less than one year’s experience.
- The average care worker pay is £1 per hour less than healthcare assistants in the NHS that are new to their roles.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
“The enormous shortage of care workers in England has become a perpetual issue for the country - one that is piling more pressure on already stretched families who are having to plug the gap.
“In many cases family members are having to step in to provide round the clock care for older and disabled relatives, with 600 people a day in the UK leaving the workforce to do so. It is having a huge impact on their physical and mental health, with 72% of unpaid carers unable to take a break from their caring role since the start of the COVID pandemic.
“Care workers play an essential role in society supporting people to enjoy a better quality of life - a role that is valued by families and should be valued by the Government. It cannot let the care worker shortage get further out of hand. Adult social care needs a proper long-term workforce plan and significant investment in the system to ensure older and disabled people and their families can enjoy better health and better lives