Just two per cent of social services departments budgets for
employees was spent on training last year, according to the latest
social services workforce survey, writes Clare
Social services departments’ total expenditure on employees
during 2000-2001 was £4.7 billion, but the total (gross)
expenditure spent on training in that period was just £97
million, the survey by the Employers Organisation found.
The report looks at recruitment and retention, training and
qualifications and pay in social services departments. It found
difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff nationally, although
London and the west Midlands had some of the highest vacancy
Nearly half of local authorities experience difficulties in
recruiting children and families field social workers. The problem
is worst in the east Midlands and the south-east where two thirds
of authorities reported extreme difficulties in recruiting such
There was an average vacancy rate of 9.4 per cent in September
last year, and children and families field social workers had a
higher vacancy rate of 11.3 per cent.
The three area with highest turnover rates were occupational
therapy posts, home care employees and care employees in children’s
Recruitment and retention problems have become so severe that
between April and September last year, more than £13 million
was spent by social services departments in England advertising
their vacant posts.
Almost two thirds of departments now advertise vacancies on the
internet, as well as in local, national press and specialist
journals, and a third hold job fairs.
But just under a third indicated they had long-term plans to
transfer employees as part of setting up a care trust.
The report is available from David.Mellor@lg-employers.gov.uk