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Sunday, 24 March 2019 15:08

Staff turnover in social care cited as highest of any sector in UK


The care sector has the highest staff turnover rate of all sectors in the UK, with one in three workers leaving the sector every year, according to a new report by the Care Association Alliance.

The ‘Social Care Workforce Study’ described recruiting and retraining staff as being “challenging” in a sector where average pay for a care assistant is £350 a week - a full £200 a week lower than the UK all-jobs average.

The report also showed that, of the 1.47 million people employed in social care, 305,000 (23 per cent) are currently aged over 55. This has serious ramifications for care industry recruitment in the future.

The report, compiled with law firm Royds Withy King, estimated there would need to be around half a million new care staff within the next ten years to meet increasing demand alone.

Charles Taylor, a steering group member at the Care Association Alliance, said: “The UK has an aging population – by 2030 we will have 13.25m individuals aged over 65 – and our report sets out to explore the challenge providers face in employing staff as Brexit looms large. Our findings do not paint an encouraging picture.

“The sector needs to recruit 128,000 new members of staff every year to replace those that retire or leave, and to meet increasing demand. Increased demand alone means that in 10 years’ time the sector needs 500,000 new members of staff. In 2016, the latest data we have, the sector managed to recruit just 20,000.

Another significant factor highlighted in the report is that 80 per cent of the workforce is female. Without workforce diversification, the care sector will struggle to recruit enough staff to meet future care demands.

Mr Taylor said: “To put that into context and based on the gender demographic of today’s care workforce where 80 per cent is female. In 2017, 126,642 young women left secondary education.

“Assuming the care sector remains primarily staffed by women, it would need to recruit 102,000, or 81 per cent, of those female school leavers every year to meet demand. That is clearly not possible and illustrates the challenges the care sector faces.”

The report also made mention that 33 per cent of all nurses and 16 per cent of care assistants are foreign nationals. In London, this rose to 65 per cent of care assistants and 84 per cent of nurses.

James Sage, employment lawyer and head of Health & Social Care at Royds Withy King said: “The Government plans to severely restrict access to care staff from the EEA after Brexit, despite the current staffing crisis engulfing the care sector.

“There are no special rules for the care sector despite it being particularly reliant on European staff. To exacerbate the problem, the Government has failed to adopt a coherent strategy to address staff shortages by other means.”

The Care Association Alliance has called for the Government to rethink its post-Brexit immigration proposals in light of the significant staff shortages in the care sector.

Mr Taylor said: “The proposed visa that would allow low-skilled people into the UK for a 12-month period is simply not good enough. It would be costly for care employers to manage whilst further exacerbate staff turnover.

He advocated: “We would urge the government to introduce a social care visa which would only be available to people working in that sector. Such a model already exists for those working in the agricultural sector. If the Government cannot support the sector, care providers will be forced to close, leaving the vulnerable and elderly without sufficient care and support.”

source https://www.homecare.co.uk/news/article.cfm/id/1607171/staff-turnover-in-socal-care-cited-as-the-highest-of-any-sector-in-the-uk


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26 August 2019