More than a quarter of England’s adult social workers are over 55 and could retire in the next decade, a report warns.
According to Skills for Care, the vacancy rate for nursing staff was nearly 11% in 2021-22, twice the national average.
The annual report on the state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England also found that the turnover rate remained high at 29% over the period, with younger workers the most likely to resign.
Approximately 28% of employees (430,000 positions) are older than 55 and may therefore retire in the next ten years, which could further increase turnover and vacancies.
This includes 32% of managers aged 55+, with Skills for Care warning that there needs to be a greater focus on recruiting and developing new leaders.
Earlier this year, a preliminary Skills for Care report found that job vacancies rose 52% in 2021-22 to 165,000 unfilled positions – the largest annual increase since records began in 2012-13.
And it found that the number of jobs filled fell by about 50,000 for the first time since records began.
If the labor force is to grow proportionately in line with projections of an aging population, the number of jobs would need to increase by about 480,000 to 2.27 million by 2035.
A great many people work in social care for the love of helping people, but job postings are increasing.
Support worker Jasivir Kaur told Latest Page News: “I’m emotionally attached to them within three months.”
The latest report builds on these findings, arguing that the decline in filled vacancies is due to recruitment and retention difficulties rather than a decline in demand for nursing staff.
Job availability across the economy remains high, with these positions “often being more highly paid and perceived as less challenging than social care jobs.”
The analysis found that four out of five jobs in the economy as a whole paid more than the median wage (£9.50) for carers.
Carers who have been in the job for five years are paid 7p an hour more than carers with less than a year’s experience, the report says.
In 2021-22, the average pay for carers was £1 an hour less than NHS healthcare workers new to their role.
Turnover was highest among younger employees, with 52.6% of those under the age of 20 leaving the job within 12 months.
But not all go for other careers — 63% of people who work in social care were recruited from other care roles.
More recent data suggests that between March and August 2022 the number of vacancies stopped falling and rose slightly.
This could be due to some providers granting larger-than-expected pay rises, adding nurses to the list of shortage occupations and scrapping the mandatory vaccination policy, it said.
Oonagh Smyth, chief executive of Skills for Care, said society needs a “stage change” in the appreciation of social care and those who provide it.
She said: “We need to talk more about how rewarding it is to work in social care so that we attract more people, and we need to make it easier for people who enjoy working in social care to stay by promoting the.” Improving and investing in conditions Career development.
“This report highlights the immediate and longer-term capacity challenges in social care.
“The data shows that while we will need 480,000 additional people in social care by 2035, we already have 165,000 job openings daily and that 28% of the workforce aged 55 or older will retire in the next 10 years. “
Simon Bottery, senior fellow at the King’s Fund, said the figures showed the social care sector was facing an “absolute crisis” in trying to recruit staff.
He added: “As staffing shortages continue to put unbearable pressure on an already stretched workforce, we risk entering a vicious cycle that will make it increasingly difficult to fill those vacancies.”
A Government spokesman said: “We are investing in adult welfare and have made £500m available to support hospital-to-community discharge and strengthen the workforce this winter, on top of record funding to support our designated 10th year annual plan in the “People at the Center of Care” white paper.