Social care staff shortages expected

(3 minutes to read)

The demand for social carers is not being met, partly due to a lack of entry level talent – most of Gen Z (56% of 16-25-year olds) wouldn’t consider a career in the sector.

The UK’s ageing population is bringing a growing demand for care, however, a third of social carers are looking to leave the sector within the next five years.

Although over 170,000 applications were made to social care roles on Totaljobs in the first half of 2019, with an average of 12 applications for each role advertised and applications rising by 13% compared to last year, the bigger picture shows that the sector is still facing an increasing shortage of workers.

One fifth (20%) of social carers are already actively looking for roles outside the sector, considering taking their transferable skills to careers in healthcare (51%), retail (43%) and hospitality (24%). One in five (19%) plan to leave social care within the next two years, and this figure increases to over half (57%) expecting to exit the sector within the next decade.

Concerningly, the UK will need a further 650,000 workers by 2035 to meet the increased need for care services as a result of the country’s ageing population, which will see one in five people over the age of 65 by 2030.

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Interestingly, the research revealed that Brits overwhelmingly respect and value social workers with 90% believing that social carers are essential in society. However, two thirds of people (67%) have stated that they wouldn’t ever consider a career in social care, citing concerns over low pay (42%), emotionally challenging work (41%) and perceptions of unappealing work (29%).

For those in the sector, 70% of social carers believe colleagues are leaving the sector due to their working environment, and 80% argue that they are leaving due to pay.

Alexandra Sydney, Director at Totaljobs, commented, “Despite the challenges they face, the vast majority of social carers would still recommend a career in social care. With this, 81% of those who plan to stay in the sector say they’re proud of the work they do. Employers should promote this passion to attract entry-level talent into the sector. Generation Z are known for being driven by careers with purpose, but very few have considered a career in social care.

“By building awareness and consideration among those entering the workforce, employers have the opportunity to tap into a goldmine of talent, future-proof the sector and ensure people get the care they need.”

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