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Regional/National Dimension

For up-to-date local area profiles, key regional and national statistics go to the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care website.

The North West, North East and West Midlands have the lowest rates for care workers at £6.00 per hour, while London has the highest at £6.99 per hour. At senior care worker level, the North West has the lowest rates at £6.25 an hour while the South West have the highest rates at £7.25 per hour.

Source: nmds-sc briefing Pay (April 2009)


Children, young people and families

The early years and childcare providers form the largest sector of the sector, equating to 75% of the total number of workers. There are over 500,000 people working with children, young people, families and carers in England and around 250,000 volunteers (the wider children’s workforce is estimated to include 2.7 million workers).

Adult social care:

  • The adult social care workforce in England is an estimated 1.5 million workers and between 2007 and 2008 the workforce grew by 8%.
  • The independent sector employs the majority of the workforce (just over a million workers), of which direct care providing staff account for over 70% of the workforce.
  • Migrant workers account for a significant proportion of the total workforce, but this varies widely by region and job role.
  • 7% of all care workers in England are migrants who arrived in England between 2003 and 2008.
  • In 2008, 70% of care workers held NVQ Level 2 or above, with just 20% below NVQ Level 2 or no qualifications (the rest holding other qualifications or trade apprenticeships).
  • New regulatory requirements are now in place
  • The most rapid growth is self-directed care, the number of workers employed in this area is likely to be at least 350,000

For more data on England, see England key statistics report April 2010

Source: UK Sector Skills Assessment 2010

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Northern Ireland

Services include:

  • 8,500 people provided with intensive support in their own homes
  • 12,000 people receiving a nursing home or residential care package
  • 7,000 people receiving a meals service care package
  • 24,000 people receiving a Home Help care package
  • 2,400 children looked after in some form of care

Overall expenditure upon health and social care is more than £3.8 billion each year, which accounts for almost 45% of total public expenditure in Northern Ireland.

Approximately 5.9% of the total workforce in Northern Ireland (42,243 people) are employed in social care and social work activities.

The majority of the workforce is female (87%). 53% of the workforce are employed part-time. There are 13,460 social care staff (including domiciliary care workers) employed by Health and Social Care Trusts. This suggests that the proportion of workers in the independent sector is just over two thirds (68%) and most employers are charitable/not-for-profit organisations.

Source: UK Sector Skills Assessment 2010

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The Scottish social services sector has grown rapidly in recent years and is believed to employ approximately 198,000 individuals.

The social services workforce is:

  • Growing faster than the overall Scottish workforce as a whole
  • Increasingly employed by private and voluntary sector providers
  • Characterised by a relatively low percentage of skills shortages compared to the overall workforce
  • Increasingly employed in full-time posts
  • Characterised by an older workforce profile than the Scottish workforce as a whole
  • Still predominantly female, although there has been a substantial increase in the number of male workers during the past decade
  • Becoming increasingly qualified.

Total revenue expenditure in 2007/08 on social services in Scotland was £3.19 billion. Those who receive services include: over 14,000 looked after children; over 190,000 children attending day care services; 69,000 people receiving care at home; 37,000 in adult residential care; and just over 2,500 receiving self-directed support.

Source: UK Sector Skills Assessment 2010

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Key statistics:

  • Social care services in Wales currently support over 150,000 people and account for £1.1 billion in public spending.
  • The sector employs more than 70,000 people in services delivered by around 1,800 public sector, private and voluntary organisations located across Wales.
  • Approximately 87% of the workforce is women.
  • 30% of the social care workforce is aged 50 years and over and only 10% of the workforce is under the age of 25, although this varies by sub-sector.
  • 55% of staff work part-time and many have second jobs.
  • The independent sector employs the majority of the social care workforce. 86% of care homes, two thirds of children’s homes, the majority of homecare hours and 40,000 of the 70,000 workforce are now in the private and voluntary sector.
  • An estimated 21% of the population are Welsh speakers.
  • Language skills is identified as a skills gap for the sector.

Mandatory registration in Wales has been implemented in stages, with social workers and social work students required to register with the Council since 2004, managers of residential children’s homes since 2007 and workers since 2008. The next groups are the managers of adult residential services from October 2010 and of domiciliary care services from 2012. In all cases, approved social care qualifications are a requirement for registration or, for workers, the completion of induction followed by achievement of the required qualification before renewal becomes due three years after registering. Some of those registered are based close to the Welsh border and work in England or Wales, for example to provide cover in children’s homes.

Source: UK Sector Skills Assessment 2010

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