Crisis deepens as care job vacancies in the UK rise to 110,000

Approximately 110,000 jobs in adult and social care in the UK are left vacant, a rise of 22,000 in just one year, according to workforce data.

Skills for Care, a training charity, said the vacancy rate has risen from 6.6% in 2017 to 8% in 2018 saying employers found it challenging to get people with the ‘right values’ for care work.

The Department of Health and Social Care will soon be launching a recruitment campaign to encourage a career in care. The report also shows 31% of carers left or changed jobs in 2017-18.

Sharon Allen, chief executive of Skills for Care, said: “Employers often tell us their biggest issue is finding people with the right values to work in adult social care and this report shows the scale of that challenge.”

The main challenge for care providers is competing with other industries who pay well against the amount of responsibility required.

“Supermarket work is so well paid for the amount of responsibility. The reality is that care is such a huge responsibility and although the Cambridge Housing Society really looks after staff, care in general is not a high paid area,” Amy Esgate, lead practitioner at the Cambridge Housing Society, told BBC Inside Out East.

Senior care worker, Sian Birch, who works for a care organisation in Sussex, said: “Care is often shown as a viable career when you don’t have qualifications, but they could not be more wrong. Care is not for everyone, especially if you’re in it for the money.

“To be a carer, you have to care about the residents you work with as you see them every day. The responsibility is huge on carers, but I love my job and I love helping people.”

The average wage for council care employees was £9.80 an hour, while the average pay per hour in the private sector was £8.12.

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