Social care: a guide to attracting and retaining a thriving workforce

Think tank: The Work Foundation

Author(s): Melanie Wilkes; Olivia Gable; Trinley Walker

May 25, 2021

This report from UK think tank the Work Foundation looks at how to tackle workforce challenges in adult social care.

The Work Foundation and Totaljobs have developed a new guide to tackle workforce challenges in adult social care through research with care workers and engagement with providers and expert stakeholders.With an estimated workforce of 1.52 million, the adult social care sector plays a significant role in the UK labour market. Over the years ahead it will need to rapidly expand further to meet growing demand. But the sector faces long-standing challenges which have been made more acute by the pandemic and recent changes to immigration policy. From attracting individuals with the right qualities to retaining skilled staff and developing routes to progression, care providers are struggling to build and sustain their workforce. The guide aims to support care providers navigating these challenges, highlighting key insights from our research and offering recommendations for employers and government to create long-term solutions for a thriving workforce. Our research found that perceptions of care work seem to be improving, with more than half (53%) of jobseekers from outside the sector reporting they hold a more positive view of social care since the onset of the pandemic, and nearly a third of those surveyed considering a future career in care.