The future care workforce

International Longevity Centre UK
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Already a large employer, the adult social care sector in England will need to add approximately 1 million workers by 2025 in response to population ageing and the implied increase in the numbers of people with disabilities. This report is concerned with understanding how demand for adult social care is likely to change over the coming decades; whether the care sector and workforce is likely to be able to meet this demand; and what we can do to increase the chances of delivering a care workforce consistent with expected need. The report outlines demographic trends and the funding pressures facing the social care sector in England. It looks at the current state of the workforce through a review of recent literature and analysis of relevant data. It discusses the factors that could lead to increased demand for social care over the coming decades, and evaluates past growth projections for the future care workforce. It assesses some of the barriers that could prevent the workforce from evolving in line with expected demand, and discusses how these barriers might be overcome. Past and present younger and older employees of Anchor present case studies in which they recount the rewarding aspects of their work. The report recommends that government funding must rise in line with the needs of the population; that abuse of national minimum wage regulations must be tackled; and that support and career development needs to be improved as a way of reducing staff turnover. As recommended by the Cavendish Review, care staff should be able to use their qualifications, learning and development with different providers. Also suggested is that men, older workers, the unemployed and the underemployed can all play a big role in filling the potential gap in labour supply. The care sector must learn from examples of best practice both from within the sector as well as from other low pay sectors, to identify how it can improve staff morale and retention through relatively low cost measures. Lastly, building a strong reputation for quality of staffing must be seen as a key selling point that providers can use to take advantage of the expected increase in requirement for social care over the coming decades. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
social care staff, adult social care, care providers, labour market, staff development, conditions of employment, staff retention, economics, case studies;
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