At the CWC, we were pleased to see Skills for Care’s new report, which shares some hopeful news about the adult social care sector. Their newly analysed data from 2022-23 shows that the number of filled posts has increased by around 1% in the last financial year. We welcome this news, as the previous year saw the number of filled posts in care fall for the first time on record.
The Skills for Care report goes on to say that part of this 1% increase in filled posts has been attributed to many care providers recruiting from overseas as a response to increasing difficulties in recruiting and retaining workers. 70,000 people have been recruited from overseas, with 82% (58,000) requiring a Skilled Worker visa.
We were particularly interested to learn from the report that the turnover rate for workers from overseas was around 50 per cent lower than for workers recruited within the UK. We have always supported the Skilled Worker visa; it has been a lifeline to the care sector. We greatly value everyone with a passion for this vital work. We would like to see reassurances from the government that the Skilled Worker visa will continue, and we call upon all political parties to commit to this in their manifestos in the run-up to the general election.
Karolina Gerlich, CEO of The Care Workers’ Charity, said, “Even though the 1% filled post increase is a glimmer of hope, we must keep fighting for the care system we want to see. Skills for Care’s most recent report highlights that right now, we still have 152,000 vacant posts, and the number of posts will need to increase by around 445,000 by 2035. This needs to start with a bold reform from the government, backed by substantial funding and based on the understanding that we need to value both the lives of the people we support and those who provide that support. That can’t be expected to cost pennies. Social care reform needs to recognise care workers as highly skilled professionals that deliver important work based on relationships, not tasks. Only then will we be able to attract more people, especially young people, to work in care and enjoy this beautiful and fulfilling career.
The data from Skills for Care, detailing the growth rate we will need in the sector, helps to underline our insistence that social care needs a plan similar to the one recently made for the NHS. Whilst we understand that this is a positive step, we cannot help but feel that, once again, social care has been overlooked. The recent NHS birthday celebrations have intensified this feeling. You may be surprised to learn that when the NHS turned 75, so did our social care system, but this milestone has hardly been remarked upon in the media.
If we were to have a plan that addresses the difficulties faced by the social care sector, it would also need to address pay. This is a big factor in attracting and keeping workers in the industry. The Care Workers’ Charity can attest to this, as we have seen a steep rise in applications from care workers in crisis. So far, we have paid 10 thousand grant applications of over £5.6 million to those who need it. This reflects poorly on a society that relies on social care to function. We hope the government will finally properly invest in social care and its workforce.”
About The Care Workers’ Charity
The Care Workers’ Charity (CWC) is a national organisation dedicated to improving the lives of care workers across the United Kingdom. The charity provides essential mental health support and financial assistance to care workers facing hardship, enabling them to meet urgent expenses and maintain their overall well-being. Through grants and various initiatives, the CWC aims to recognise, support, and uplift the invaluable work of care workers who provide compassionate support to those who need it. For inquiries, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org