Building the future social care workforce: a scoping study into workforce readiness, recruitment and progression in the social care sector

This report presents the findings of a scoping study into workforce readiness, recruitment and progression in the social care sector, with a specific focus on East London. The research carried out by SCIE, supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

The purpose of the scoping study was to research the latest data and evidence about the challenges in increasing workforce readiness in the recruitment of appropriately skilled staff and the development of high-quality career pathways in social care. The aim was to provide practical recommendations on how funders and employers can invest in a demand-led system in East London which promotes access to social care employment and good career progression.

The recruitment and retention of skilled care workers has never been more critical – given the pressure on the social care sector. There are real challenges to confront, including low pay, poor progression paths and difficulties recruiting enough skilled workers with the right values. Demand for social care also continues to rise steadily, which means that we need to find much more innovative ways to organise the workforce, utilising digital technology more effectively. To recruit the number of workers we need, we also need to find better ways to reach people who would previously not have been interested in working in the sector, such as young people and those looking to return into work.

There will not be a single, simple solution to these challenges. This report argues, therefore, that we need a co-ordinated, multi-pronged approach to tackling workforce shortages and improving progression paths with investments made to support a range of different initiatives.