Nine out of ten social care workers in England are happy in their jobs, according to the largest national survey of the workforce published today.
Care workers interviewed for the Skills for Care survey listed job satisfaction and chatting with and meeting service users as their favourite parts of the job. Cleaning up mess, dealing with challenging behaviour and service users’ deaths were the least favoured elements.
Of the 502 survey respondents – a sample of the total 750,000 workforce – almost 70% had at least a level 2 qualification. But Skills for Care had previously found there was only a 6% difference in pay rates between care workers who were qualified and non-qualified, the survey showed.
Skills for Care chair Donald Hoodless, said: “As we increase numbers of trained staff we need to have a full debate about how we make sure we boost the financial incentives for getting a qualification.”
Although staff held qualifications, 85% did not plan to seek a promotion over the next two years because they did not want extra job responsibilities or did not feel there was a structure in place to be able to progress in social care.
But 70% of respondents welcomed care worker registration because they believed it would lead to better qualified staff and raise standards across the sector.
The survey also noted the demographic problems facing the workforce over future years, as only 24% of social care workers are aged under 35.
Hoodless said that the sector had to address training and development issues with domiciliary care workers, who are “lagging behind” other workers in the sector but will become increasingly important with the personalisation of care.
The General Social Care Council was particularly concerned that a third of care workers reported that they were supervised only occasionally or not at all.
GSCC chief executive, Mike Wardle, said: “Good supervision is crucial in the pursuit of high standards and is a requirement of our Code of Practice for Employers of Social Care Workers.”
Wardle also had concerns that a third of care workers in the survey felt that some service users did not always receive the standard of care that they deserved.