The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is launching a month-long pilot communications programme to promote jobs in the adult social care sector. The pilot starts October 31st and is taking place in Gloucestershire and Tyne and Wear. This will test and identify the optimal marketing channels in different geographical locations to inform a national campaign in early 2019.

The campaign is designed to address the high number of vacancies in the sector, as there are an estimated 110,000 vacancies in adult social care in England(1). The staff turnover rate in the sector is 30.7 per cent, equating to nearly 400,000 people leaving care jobs every year. The vacancy rate rose by 2.5 per cent in the past five years, and the turnover rate increased by over seven per cent between 2012/2013 and 2017/2018.

Skills for Care forecasts show if the adult social care workforce grows proportionally to the projected number of people aged 65 and over in the population between 2017 and 2035, an increase of 40 per cent (650,000 jobs) would be required by 2035.

Working with local providers, DHSC is testing initiatives during the pilot in order to inform the national roll-out next year. The programme is looking to test which channels, messages and sector engagement tactics are most successful in highlighting the variety of rewarding roles in social cares which can make a difference every day.

Minister for Care, Caroline Dinenage, said: “A career in adult social care is incredibly rewarding and care work is a hugely worthwhile vocation with over 100 different roles on offer. With a growing need for more care workers we want to support providers to recruit the best possible talent.

“Our new recruitment pilots will explore the most effective ways of doing this, to ensure we have a workforce fit for the future and able to meet the needs of some of society’s most vulnerable.”

In Gloucestershire, there are an estimated 1,400 vacancies in the adult social care sector, with 5,500 leaving the sector every year out of a total workforce of 19,000. Tyne and Wear has around 1,700 vacancies at any one time, with a 5.8 per cent vacancy rate. In the past 12 months, the sector has seen 7,400 leavers in the area, where there is a 26.8 per cent turnover rate.

Sharon Allen, CEO of Skills for Care said “We’re really pleased that the Department of Health and Social Care are leading this campaign. Working in care can be incredibly rewarding and we hope the campaign will shine a light on the need for people with the right values to become social care workers, now and in the future”.

Care providers who are looking to recruit new care workers are being encouraged to support the campaign by working with DHSC on local PR activity and pilot evaluation, and advertising their vacancies locally. The support of local providers is vital to the communications campaign’s success.

Sources
1. Figures on adult social care sector from Skills for Care. Skills for Care, ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce report in England, 2018’ (Leeds, 2018). Available at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/stateof