The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Skills for Care has published its new report on the state of the social care workforce. The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England, 2016 presents the most recent and comprehensive overview of the adult social care sector, which continues to grow and provides an estimated 1.55 million jobs.

The report draws conclusions about the workforce’s size, employment information, recruitment and retention issues, workforce demographics, pay and qualification rates and future workforce forecasts.

Key findings include:

  • the sector was estimated to contribute £40.4 billion per annum to the English economy
  • workers had, on average, eight years of experience in the sector and four years of experience in role
  • the majority (83%) of the adult social care workforce were British, 7% had an EU nationality and 11% a non-EU nationality
  • the average age of a worker was 43 years old and a fifth were over 55 years old
  • almost two thirds of directly employed staff new to their roles since January 2015 had achieved or are working towards the Care Certificate
  • in 2015/16, prior to the introduction of the mandatory National Living Wage, care worker pay was £7.46
  • over the past 12 months the starters rate was 35% and turnover rate was 27.3%.


Dame Moira Gibb DBE, Chair of Skills for Care said, ‘The report feels timelier than ever given a number of issues currently affecting the sector. The data and trends in the report provide robust information that shed light on key workforce issues including: recruitment and retention; take up of the Care Certificate; the prevalence of zero-hours contracts and the nationality of the workforce (a very hot topic since the vote to leave the European Union). Wherever possible the report provides trend data to give us a true picture on how these issues are evolving over time.’

You can download the report here:

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