580,000 social work jobs need filling by 2035

The adult social care workforce in England has continued to grow, with a 22 per cent growth in the total number of jobs since 2009.

The latest jump in workforce numbers was revealed in Skills for Care’s annual Size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England, 2019 report, which finds that 1.49 million people now meet the growing demand from people who need care and support in our communities.

Furthermore, an estimated 18,500 organisations now involved in providing or organising adult social care in England. Those services were delivered across an estimated 39,000 establishments deeply embedded in their communities.

The report also showed that around 237,000 adults, older people and carers received direct payments from council’s social services departments in 2017/2018, and it is estimated that approximately 31 per cent of these recipients were employing their own staff.

Andy Tilden, Skills for Care Interim CEO, said: “There is rightly a very live debate about the future of adult social care, and the robust data in this report allows us to make decisions about what future service delivery might look like based on what we know rather than gut feelings.

“The report does once again show the obvious contribution our growing workforce makes supporting people to live the lives they want, but also that our sector is now a key part of our national economy. As we estimate we will need to fill another 580,000 jobs by 2035 that contribution is only going to grow, so we need to start thinking about how that is factored into economic planning locally and nationally.”