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You want to boost the social care workforce? Then invest in it, RCN tells ministers

College sceptical about latest recruitment campaign to a sector with poor pay and conditions

College sceptical about latest recruitment campaign to a sector with poor pay and conditions


The Department of Health campaign needs to offer more than a positive image of
working in adult social, says the RCN.

Investment – rather than merely 'good PR' – is needed to make adult social care an attractive career, the RCN said in response to a new recruitment campaign.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DH) recruitment drive announced today aims to fill 110,000 vacancies in adult social care in England. It particularly wants to encourage people aged 20 to 39 into jobs as care workers, activities coordinators, personal assistants and occupational therapists. The DH said research suggests this age group is most likely to consider a job in the sector in the coming year.

Diverse roles

More than 1.45 million people work in the adult social care sector and roles include supporting older people or those with a physical disability, autism, dementia or a mental health condition.

It is predicted an additional 650,000 workers will be needed by 2035 to keep up with the rising numbers of people aged 65 and over.

RCN acting general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said social care offered 'a varied and rewarding career' for those with an interest in caring for others, but criticised a lack of long-term investment in the sector.

'Those working in social care already will tell you that making it more of an attractive place to work requires hard cash investment as well as good PR.

‘A cut-price service lets down older people and those who work hard to care for them’

Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN acting general secretary

'Registered nurses and care workers tell us they entered the sector with high hopes but in reality poorer pay than the NHS, low morale and precarious contracts led to them looking elsewhere.

'Until these fundamentals are addressed, social care will continue to have a high turnover of nursing staff – a cut-price service lets down older people and those who work hard to care for them.'

Care minister Caroline Dinenage said: 'Our national recruitment campaign will support care providers to recruit thousands more talented people.'


Related material

Adult social care recruitment campaign


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