Social services departments failed to hit their targets for
reducing job vacancies last year, according to the sector’s annual
workforce survey, writes Mithran
The study, published by training body Skills for Care, shows
average vacancies fell by just 0.3 per cent to 11 per cent between
2002-3 and 2003-4.
Had all departments met their targets, the vacancy rate would
have been 10.2 per cent.
However, the national picture masks significant variations
between regions and individual authorities.
Vacancies rose by 2 per cent to 11.6 per cent in the West
Midlands, but fell by 3.2 per cent in the traditional recruitment
hotspot of outer London.
The vacancy rate was highest in inner London at 18.3 per cent,
with a low of 6 per cent in the north-east, while nationally rates
varied between 0.7 per cent and 35 per cent.
The traditionally hard-to-recruit area of childcare social work
saw a fall in vacancies between 2002 and 2003 from 12.6 per cent to
11.8 per cent.
However the proportion of empty posts rose from 9.2 per cent to
10.2 per cent for other social workers.
The State of the Social Care Workforce is available from www.skillsforcare.org.uk