Figures from Skills for Care reveal that care worker vacancies have fallen from a historic high of 165,000 last year to just over 150,000. While the vacancy rate remains above pre-pandemic levels, it will provide some reassurance in a sector that has been struggling with skills shortages.
Responding to the report, Nuffield Trust deputy policy director Natasha Curry said the decision to add social care to the government’s shortage occupation list and issue more visas to overseas workers appeared to be paying off.
“This has helped grow the care workforce by an estimated 70,000 workers, but questions remain about the sustainability of this approach for years to come, especially alongside the absence of a dedicated and comprehensive workforce plan for social care,” she said.
National Care Forum CEO Vic Rayner said the welcome arrival of overseas workers masked a further shrinking in the domestic workforce. “Research from Age UK makes it abundantly clear that there are already hundreds of thousands of older people who are not able to access the care they need,” she added.