Responding to the publication by Skills for Care of their annual report State of the adult social care sector and workforce in England, Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and REAL Centre at the Health Foundation, said:

‘Today’s report highlights the urgent workforce challenges facing adult social care in England. Many social care employers are now reporting growing concerns about recruiting and retaining enough staff. This is hardly surprising when job vacancies – which initially went down at the start of the pandemic – have risen above pre-pandemic levels. There has also been a decline in the number of people from outside the UK taking up jobs in the industry at a time when the post-Brexit immigration system means providers can no longer turn to EU workers as easily as they could in the past. 

‘Even before the pandemic, there were very high levels of staff vacancies and turnover in the sector. Social care work has long been characterised by low pay and poor terms and conditions. The Government has committed to bring forward a White Paper on reforming adult social care later this year, which presents an opportunity to better reward, recognise and support social care staff, and to improve services for people who need them. 

‘Looking further ahead, the Health Foundation’s REAL Centre estimates that over 600,000 extra social care staff could be needed by 2030/31 to improve services and meet growing demand for care, over and above filling existing vacancies. The government must strengthen its workforce planning for social care to ensure that there are enough staff to look after the growing numbers of people who will need care in the future.’

Notes to editors

To find out more about the Skills for Care report, contact Media and Public Affairs Manager, Paul Clarke on 0113 241 1297 or email

Media contact

Creina Lilburne
020 7664 4647 / mobile: 07941 156 827

Further reading


REAL Centre


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