A leading Scottish care provider has today (Monday 4th November) launched a major campaign to boost recruitment into the care sector against the background of a ‘perfect storm’ of staff shortages and the potential impact of Brexit (case study below and image attached).
Based in Hamilton but active across Scotland, LOVE@care offers a wide range of professional care services, tailored to individual service user needs and undertaken by highly trained carers.
Its campaign will seek to highlight the various roles and considerable opportunities available in the sector, with a specific focus on attracting those from non-care related backgrounds and men. It has also called on care providers to ‘raise their game’, boosting its attractiveness to those seeking new opportunities.
With people living longer, and an expansion in early learning and childcare, Scotland needs more people to work in the care sector, addressing the current care crisis.
Currently the number of vacancies in the sector is growing, with the latest data from the Care Inspectorate indicating that 38 per cent of services reported having vacancies, up 2 per cent on the previous year.1 In addition, 45 per cent of services with vacancies reporting problems filling them
Care at home services (62 per cent), care homes for older people (59 per cent), housing support services (59 per cent) and care homes for adults (53 per cent) were the main service types with the largest proportion of services reporting vacancies, all significantly above the national average.
This problem is set to be exacerbated by Brexit which could lead to lower levels of immigration to Scotland. EU nationals account for 5.6 per cent of staff in the care sector currently, with 42 per cent of care services recruitment overseas coming from the EU.2
A report from the STUC earlier this year also found that the workforce of the care sector will have to expand by 80,000 – an additional 40 per cent of workers – by 2035.3 83 per cent of those employed in the sector are women.
The care provider has also urged the sector to ‘raise its game’ in general, making itself more attractive as a career choice through offering a decent wage and helping individuals working in it gain qualifications, noting that many working in it currently feel undervalued.
Reinforcing this it pointed to the fact that one in 10 social care workers are on zero hours contracts and 80 per cent of early years practitioners and 50 per cent of supervisors earn less than the real Living Wage of £9 per hour.
Lynn Bell, CEO of LOVE@care said:
“This recruitment campaign comes against a ‘perfect storm’ of major staff shortages and the potential impact of Brexit, which will simply worsen the crisis we are already in.
“We are operating in a sector where there are clearly problems recruiting workers and in order to attract people we need make them aware of the considerable opportunities on offer and do more to enhance its reputation and ensure that it is valued as a career choice.
“We would urge all providers to raise their game look at solutions to create a sustainable and successful care sector, tackling the recruitment challenge. As an example, the career pathway we provide through training supports individuals gain the qualifications to move through the ranks of the care sector and help establish this as a career of choice, helping to improve people’s lives.”