The number of professionals applying for jobs in social care rose considerably last year, a glimmer of hope for a sector that has been hit with significant skills shortages. However, with vacancies also showing no signs of slowing down, and a climate of unrest plaguing the sector, employers will struggle to attract talent unless more focus is placed on developing domestic skills and attracting international workers. That’s according to new research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), the trade association for the professional recruitment sector.
The data, provided by the world’s largest network of job boards, Broadbean Technology, revealed that job applications jumped considerably during the second half of 2022, with numbers exceeding the 100,00 mark in five of the last six months. When looking at year-on-year data, the research shows that there was an almost 19% rise in applications between January 2022 and January 2023, a promising sign for the sector. However, vacancies for social care jobs also continued to rise steadily last year, and with January showing a 42% month-on-month increase, demand may soon outstrip supply.
Elsewhere, the research reveals that average salaries increased 6.3% year-on-year, and by more than 4.2% over the last three months – perhaps reflective of employers’ attempts to attract professionals into the sector.
Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo comments:
“The social care sector has faced significant labour shortages since the pandemic and with unrest across the healthcare workforce as a whole, recruitment is proving challenging for employers and staffing companies. The continued uptick in vacancies is perhaps unsurprising, however the increase in application numbers is a promising sign for the sector, though it appears to largely be in line with the salary increases noted. How sustainable this will be in the coming year is difficult to determine, but as a sector which has notoriously faced talent shortages, investment in growing domestic skills and attracting international resources needs to be high on the priority list for social care.”