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Saturday, 16 February 2019 14:25

Low pay blamed for care worker recruitment crisis


Care providers have revealed low pay to be the biggest barrier to recruiting care workers, on the same day the Government launched its national recruitment campaign to show how rewarding it is to work in care.

The research by Hft, a charity supporting adults with learning disabilities, found 80 per cent of providers blame low pay for why they struggle to recruit and retain care workers.

Their research comes as care minister Caroline Dinenage revealed the long awaited green paper for social care is finished and will ‘definitely’ be published before 29 March. The green paper, which aims to offer a sustainable funding model for social care, has been repeatedly delayed and was originally meant to be published last July.

Billy Davis, public affairs and policy manager for Hft said: “The underfunding of social care is a national crisis that requires a national solution. With the green paper on social care now long overdue, we call on the government to urgently address the issues facing the sector, before it affects some of the most vulnerable adults in our society.”

In its annual Sector Pulse Check report, care providers said increases in the national living wage have become the largest pressure on organisations’ wage bills, with 63 per cent of care providers saying this has a significant impact on their costs – up from 56 per cent the previous year.

Pablo Shah, economist at Cebr, which carried out the research for Hft said: "Recruitment remains an ongoing challenge for the social care sector, as care providers are struggling to meet their employees’ wage expectations given increasing funding pressures."

'Every Day is Different'

The government hopes its ‘Every Day Is Different’ campaign, which care minister, Caroline Dinenage launched today, will help alleviate the recruitment crisis facing care providers.

The campaign aims to show how rewarding working in care can be and highlight the opportunities for progression and professional development. Over 1.45m people work in the sector at the moment. It is predicted an additional 650,000 workers will be needed by 2035 to keep up with the rising numbers of people aged 65 and over.

The campaign will run during February and March through social media, digital and local radio advertising, outdoor posters and events across England. Ms Dinenage said: “Adult social care is too often seen as the ‘Cinderella service’ to our NHS. I’m determined to change this perception, starting with our hardworking social care workforce.

“There is huge demand for more care professionals who work incredibly hard to look after the most vulnerable people in our society. We must spread the word that careers in adult social care can be rewarding, varied and worthwhile. Care is a vocation where you can transform people’s lives and every day is different to the next.”

Care worker recruitment campaign is not 'a silver bullet'

George McNamara, director of policy and influencing at Independent Age, said “It’s encouraging to see the government demonstrating an awareness of the crisis in the social care workforce” but warned “this should not be seen as a silver bullet”.

He added: “The number of vacancies is only half the story: the social care sector’s turnover rate is twice the national average, with almost 1,000 workers quitting their job every day.

“Workers are leaving due to low wages, little job progression, lack of training and perceived lower status compared to similar healthcare roles. Many of these issues should have already been addressed but haven’t because of delays to the social care green paper. Solely focussing on recruitment, without also addressing staff retention, will severely limit the impact of the campaign.”

source: https://www.homecare.co.uk/news/article.cfm/id/1605659/low-pay-care-worker-recruitment-crisis

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26 August 2019