VSS boss asks: Should we all be concerned about the state of the adult social care sector in England?

Published by Phil Juniper on October 25th 2021, 8:05am

Vocational Skills Solutions [VSS] is a national training provider that offers outstanding delivery of workforce upskilling, and pre-employment vocational courses. Its managing director, Phil Juniper [pictured], analyses the state of England’s social care sector in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and Boris Johnson’s National Insurance hike, and why a career in the industry is worth considering for those in need of stable employment.

For most of us, our first active thoughts of adult social care come at a point when trying to meet the ongoing needs of our elderly relatives, exceeds our personal capability. Like so many aspects of healthcare, in our hour of need, we decide to reach out for help and expect [or rather, hope] that there is a safety net which we can fall back on to ensure that our relatives are comfortable, and their needs are properly cared for. But with the sector taking a double hit from the impact of Brexit and Covid-19, just how well is the sector coping?

I read with great interest last week, ‘The state of the Adult Social Care and workforce in England’ report published by Skills for Care, painting a picture of a sector on its knees. With staff turnover exceeding one third of the workforce in 2020-21, there are over 105,000 unfilled vacancies per day, higher than the pre-pandemic rate and representing almost seven per cent of the workforce that is needed for the sector to operate efficiently. It comes as little surprise therefore, that absence levels among staff in the sector have almost doubled in the last year too, now reaching around 9.5 per cent.

So why would anybody choose to embark on a career in a sector that is struggling?

Well for some, the need to find ‘a job’ ticks the first box. Jobs in the health and social care sector are readily accessible, with care homes in pretty much every village, town and city, and many more local residents needing to access crucial domiciliary care services to enable them to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

With over 105,000 vacancies to choose from, identifying opportunities for those people with the right personal values, who are prepared to learn the basics and work hard, shouldn’t be too problematic, but dig deeper into the health and social care sector and there is so much more on offer than just ‘a job’.

Health and social care is a 24/7 operation which brings with it great opportunities to identify flexible working patterns and hours, so it can work well for people who need something to fit around the kids, family, and life itself.

With reported growth projections for the sector in line with an aging population that is, not only forecasted to live longer, but in an increasingly worse state of health, it is estimated that another half a million care workers will be needed by 2035. This means that once you have the skills to work in health and social care, you are pretty assured that you will be in high demand.

Beyond front line care services, there is a wide range of roles available, including administration, domestic services, food preparation, and because the sector is highly regulated, there are great upward progression opportunities for those who want them, into well-paid, care management jobs.

If all that wasn’t enough, what other sector could you experience the elation of knowing that every single day, you are making such a positive impact on the lives of others?

If you are age 19-24, unemployed and interested in finding out more about a career in health and social care, you can contact Vocational Skills Solutions on 01942 932 050 or by email via courses@vocationalsolutions.co.uk

Image provided by Vocational Skills Solutions 

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Phil Juniper
Managing Director at Vocational Skills Solutions
October 25th 2021, 8:05am

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