Social care survey warns of workforce exodus


One in three social care workers plan to leave the sector in the next five years, according to research.

The research by Totaljobs in partnership with Care UK revealed a fifth of carers were already seeking roles outside social care, even though there are 110,000 vacancies in the sector.

Alexandra Sydney, Director at Totaljobs, said: “Totaljobs has seen a growing interest in social care roles, with applications up 13% compared to August 2018. However, our research highlights that there is more to be done to protect a sector in demand.”

Of those looking to leave the sector, more than half (51%) said they were considering a move to healthcare, 43% to retail and 24% to hospitality. One in five of respondents said they intended to leave the sector within the next two years, with more than half (57%) planning to leave within the next ten years.

The expected exodus is set against a background of an ageing population that means the UK will need 650,000 more workers by 2035. The shortfall is being exacerbated by a lack of interest from younger people with 56% of 16-25 year olds saying they would not consider a career in the sector. Over half of 16-25 year olds said teachers, parents or friends had not spoken to them about a career in care.

Despite the challenges facing the sector, eight in 10 carers said they were proud of their career and two-thirds would recommend others to take a social care role, nearly seven out of 10 (68%) would recommend a career in social care. Asked what was best about their roles, 60% said building relationships with those they care for and 58% said being able to give back to society.

When asked what could be done to enhance their careers, respondents outlined the following priorities: feeling more valued by their employer (59%); an increase in salary (51%); greater support from management (46%); strong leadership (42%); greater career progression (41%); more training and development opportunities (40%); more flexible working hours (37%); reduced stress (35%); job security and stability (31%); and funded qualification (28%).

While 90% of the wider public believe that social care was an essential role in society, two thirds of people (67%) said they would never consider a career in the sector, citing concerns over low pay (42%), emotionally challenging work (41%) and perceptions of unappealing work (29%).


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