Adult social care workforce ‘needs to grow by more than a million’

The adult social care workforce needs to swell by 80% to 2.5 million if the needs of service users are to be met, says a report today by strategic workforce development body Skills for Care.

The State of the Adult Social Care Workforce in England 2008 report reveals the total workforce would need to increase from its present 1.39 million by 2025 to cope with the predicted future demand.

It says such a dramatic increase would be needed under a maximising choice scenario where all service users who wanted direct payments received them or had support care provided on a highly personalised basis.

The report, the third of its kind to be published on the state of the social care workforce but the first to focus entirely on the workforce engaged in the social care of adults, uses new data from the National Minimum DataSet-Social Care to model future workforce needs scenarios.

Driving up standards

“This massive hike in the workforce makes it imperative that we have the frameworks in place to offer the best training possible to hundreds of thousands of new workers coming in to the sector,” said Skills for Care chief executive Andrea Rowe (right).

Rowe added the body’s new Types of Worker programes encouraging innovation, the National Occupational Standards and the forthcoming Sector Skills Agreement would continue to drive up standards regardless of the workforce size.

The report also found that the existing social care workforce was largeer than the original estimate of 922,000 with 1.39 million paid workers in the adult social care sector.

The number of establishments employing social care staff is estimated at 35,000 with 22,300 private care homes forming the largest group. 

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