Fall in number of jobs advertised.

There was a 20 per cent fall in the number of social care jobs advertised last year.

A total of 31,235 jobs were advertised in the voluntary and local authority sectors compared with 39,235 in 2004.

Jobs in children’s services held up with 9,687 posts advertised by councils and the voluntary sector advertising 4,392 jobs with children. In 2004, the figures were just over 10,000 for local authorities and 4,000 for the voluntary sector.

The main areas to decline were mental health and disabilities, which saw just over 2,000 advertised in each sector compared with more than 3,000 in 2004.

Another big drop-off was in local authority housing market, which saw a fall from just above 9,500 posts in 2004 to 6,539 last year.

The main reason for the fall is uncertainty over restructuring of services. A raft of major legislation is currently going through parliament and if passed will see a major shake-up to children’s and adults’ services.

The children’s bill and the adults’ social care white paper both emphasise joint working with other professions such as education and housing and the creation of organisations to enable this.
New and combined posts are outlined in the legislation as services become centred on the users rather than departments.

Councils and the voluntary sector are holding back on advertising for posts until the legislation has been passed and the future framework is known.

Another factor is the Gershon review of local government efficiency. Rather than target resources at front-line staff the review has had the effect of councils cutting back on job advertising in a bid to save money.

Jobs advertised last year include:
• Local authority jobs in children’s services 9,687
• Jobs with councils’ older people services 1,456
• Local authority mental health and disabilities posts 2,110
• Voluntary sector children’s services 4,392
• Older people’s posts in charities 333
• Jobs in mental health and disabilities services in voluntary sector 2,047

Figures from Neilson media research


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