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Increase in adult social care jobs but more are part-time

Care worker

The number of adult social care jobs has increased by about 4% between 2011 and 2012, an overall increase of 15% since 2009.

The figures are in the annual Skills for Care report on the size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce.

However there are fewer workers (1.5m) than there are jobs (1.63m) reflecting the part-time nature of the work provided by increasing numbers of people on direct payments.

About 10% of social care workers are employed by direct payments recipients, the same number as employed by local authorities.

The number of jobs with local authorities fell by 5% last year amidst continued budget cuts across the country. Since 2009 the number of local authority jobs has fallen by 15%.

Of the 193,000 adults and carers who were receiving direct payments from councils, just over half (100,000) are actively employing their own staff

However, the report shows that while there was an increase of 8% of those employing staff between 2011 and 2012, this was the smallest increase since 2006-07 providing evidence that the growth in this sector is beginning to plateau.

“Evidence suggests that increasingly direct payment recipients may be moving away from the model of becoming employers themselves, to a model of buying in the services they require,” the authors point out.

The number of adult social care jobs is projected to grow by up to 60% between 2012 and 2025 meaning there could be 2.6m jobs by 2025 based on current trends in ageing population data. However, the authors point out this figure will also depend on resources available for adult social care.

About Ruth Smith, editor

Ruth Smith is editor of Community Care. She won New Editor of the Year 2013 at the PPA New Talent Awards. When not at work she enjoys cooking, gardening and dress making.