West Midlands Social Care Workforce Data 2019/20

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Following on from Skills for Care report: The size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England published in July 2020, they have now released regional workforce data.The data was taken from local authorities in September 2019 and from independent sector employers in March 2020.

Skills for Care projects that the West Midlands Social Care Workforce will need to grow by 26% by 2035 if it grows proportionally to the number of people aged 65 and over. This increase along with other factors such as the Post-Brexit Immigration bill and 25% of the West Midlands Social Care Workforce being 55 and over then it is clear that the social care recruitment will face significant challenges in the years to come. 

Key Findings From the West Midlands


There were 151,000 social care jobs in the (10,500) local authority and (140,000) independent social care sector in 2019/20, an increase of 12% (16,000 jobs) since 2012.

51% are full time jobs and 49% are part time jobs.

Recruitment and retention

The Vacancy rate has fallen from 7.3% in 18/19 to 6.2% in 19/20 however turnover rate has increased to a record level of 30.1% which is the equivalent to 42,000 leavers.

Average sickness days for social care workers is 4.8 days but 60% of workers had zero days off sick.

The average experience in the sector is 8.4 years, with 72% of all staff having 3+ years’ experience.


84% of the workforce were female and 16% were male and the average age of the workforce is 43 years old however 25% of the workforce is aged 55 and over.

78% of the workforce are white and 22% are BAME.

88% of jobs were filled by British nationals however 5% (7,300) of jobs were filled by individuals with EU nationality and 8% of jobs  were filled by individuals with a non EU nationality, so the West Midlands social care sector could be facing real recruitment challenges next year when the post-Brexit immigration bill comes into force.


Care workers real term median pay has increased by 14% since September 2012 due to the introduction of the National Living Wage. The mean hourly rate for local authority workers was £14.17 and mean hourly rate for independent sector was £9.30  


It should be noted that the data used in Skills for Care report for 2019/20 was collected prior to the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in England. The data they used for the 2019/20 period was collected over the course of the year (April 2019 to March 2020). They analysed data submitted in March 2020 carefully to ensure it did not significantly impact the findings.

Therefore, this report does not show how COVID-19 has impacted the adult social care workforce. Rather it should be used as a baseline to reflect the composition of the workforce prior to COVID-19 and to give context to any further research or data collected after March 2020 by Skills for Care.

 You can see all of Skills for Care's Regional Workforce Intelligence here