The connotations of an ageing care workforce

06-Aug-12
Article By: Richard Howard, News Editor

Des Kelly OBE, executive director of the National Care Forum (NCF), is anxious to see the care sector become more active in encouraging younger people to take up a career in the sector, after figures from the organisation’s annual survey showed an ageing workforce.

Research shows a decrease of 3.6% in care staff under the age of 35, with 45.6% of staff aged over 45 confirming a steady increase. The NCF also records an average staff turnover of 19.6% in residential homes, and 27.7% within home care services.

“We have undertaken our annual survey of staffing for 9 years and can therefore map trends and changes. Whilst there are positive indicators such as the steady improvement in qualification rates there is also evidence for concern that the workforce is ageing and we have fewer young people working in care.”

Mr Kelly continues: “The proposals in the recent White Paper to expand Care Ambassador schemes and significantly increase apprenticeships in the care sector are clearly essential steps to helping to address the continuing difficulties of recruitment and retention faced by care providers. This has become an urgent issue as our survey underlines. It seems likely that the continued negative portrayals of the care sector will be a factor in these findings.

“Although this survey does not collect information on personal assistants it would seem reasonable to assume that increasing proportions of people opting for forms of self-directed support will have a knock-on effect to the wider care sector. It is possible we are beginning to see the impact of such developments.”

The National Care Forum is dedicated to representing not-for-profit care services and the promotion of quality outcomes for those individuals with care needs.

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