Government’s care worker recruitment campaign is welcome but must be matched with funding

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is launching a month-long communications campaign to promote jobs in the adult social care sector. The campaign is designed to address the high number of vacancies in the sector.

Alongside welcoming these announcements VODG is calling on government to properly fund the sector to ensure the aspiration of building a strong and capable workforce are fully realised.

VODG chief executive Rhidian Hughes said:

“The care worker recruitment campaign is a very welcome initiative. But the underfunding of the sector, resulting in low wage rates, is a key policy issue that government must address in its long-awaited Green Paper. We know that as pay rates increase employers are much better placed to recruit and retain talent in what are incredibly important and rewarding roles.”

VODG’s recent analysis, ‘A stitch in time: the case for funding social care’ describes the impact of sector underfunding on workforce recruitment and retention. The report highlights that:

  • Worker turnover is high and increasing in this sector
  • Providers report many reasons for challenges in the retention of staff. A key aspect is the increasing complexity of the care needs of people who use services – social care work is becoming more skilled and specialised.

The social care workforce challenges are also significant for the national economy generally, because the sector provides such a large number of jobs: there were an estimated 1.6 million jobs in adult social care roles in England in 2017, providing employment for 1.47 million people.