Social services departments failed to hit their targets for
reducing job vacancies last year, according to the sector’s annual
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.
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
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 rates varied
nationally between 0.7 per cent and 35 per cent.
The hard-to-recruit area of child care social work saw a fall in
vacancies between 2002 and 2003 from 12.6 per cent to 11.8 per
- The State of the Social Care Workforce is available from