More than half of those moving jobs last year left the sector.
Social care and support providers in Scotland are struggling with a loss of staff, with an average of 52% of those moving jobs last year leaving the social care sector altogether, according to a new report.
Responses captured in the 2022 Social Care Benchmarking Report demonstrate the scale of sector-wide recruitment, retention and staffing challenges organisations are experiencing now.
In the study of workforce benchmarking in the sector, almost three quarters of surveyed organisations reported a significant rise in staff turnover in 2021-22.
Seventy-three per cent of organisations delivering social care said their staff turnover rate had increased since 2020-21 – a jump of 14% in a single year and an indication of year-on-year rises in social care staff moving jobs.
The Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS) and the HR Voluntary Sector Forum (HRVSF) commissioned the University of Strathclyde to conduct the benchmarking survey and analysis for member organisations.
Rachel Cackett, chief executive of CCPS, said: “The headline results of this benchmarking survey are stark and confirm what our provider organisations have been telling us over the past year: retention and recruitment of staff is the dominant issue in a sector that is under intense pressure.
“It’s a situation that has only worsened since this data for 2022 was captured, as differences in pay between not-for-profit social care providers and the public sector have widened yet further.
“This report points to an exit of staff across organisations, resulting in a loss of current expertise; a loss of potential talent; and a massive undermining of key services.
“It’s a loss that has an impact on achieving what we all want to see: people thriving by getting the support they need at the right times and in the right places, with consistent relationships at the heart of that support.
“This is the reason we’ve launched our 4 Steps to Fair Work campaign, which calls on the Scottish Government to take the measures long needed to deliver on investment and reform and set the sector on the route to Fair Work.
“We want to see social care organisations hold on to their workforce, to have the resources to develop their people – and for their staff to finally be fairly recognised and rewarded for their public service.”
The study also found that average turnover across respondents was 25%, an increase of 5.5% from the figure reported in 2020-2021.
A further 59% of respondents noted an increase in their use of agency staff , while 81% of respondents reported that their recruitment needs were higher than in the previous year.
Kevin Staunton, chair of the HR Voluntary Sector Forum, said: “As chair of the Forum, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our members who were able to participate in the survey this year.
“For years our sector has heard many warm words about parity of esteem and being seen as an equal and key partner in the delivery of social care in Scotland. This report, building on previous years’ results, provides a strong and indisputable evidence base that the reality our people experience on a day-to-day basis is very much different and the sector cannot continue to operate on the goodwill and unfulfilled aspirations of our workforce indefinitely.
“I hope that in a year’s time positive progress has been made to make the investment and reform which has often been spoken about become a reality. Our Forum members welcome the opportunity to work positively with others to make this happen. The people we support and the people our organisations employ deserve better.”