Caring For The Future: NCF Survey Finds Staff Recruitment A Priority

Recruitment and retention a top priority for care providers
For the first time the NCF annual workforce survey finds majority of care staff aged over 45

The National Care Forum annual workforce survey has found more than half (50.3%) of the workforce in residential, homecare and day care settings are aged over 45 and the number of staff aged under 25 has fallen for the fourth consecutive year to just 11.5% of the workforce. The only setting seen to be attracting younger staff in greater numbers is Supported Living, which shows a slight increase of 0.6%.

The NCF Personnel Statistics report 2015, one of the largest annual workforce surveys in the care sector, draws on data from 60 member organisations covering some 64,896 employees. This is our 12th consecutive annual survey which maps trends in the care sector workforce.

Leaver analysis shows a more positive picture this year with a greater share of personnel having remained in service for more than 2 years and 1 in 5 leavers having worked for the organisation for more than 5 years.

Des Kelly OBE, NCF Executive Director,  said:

“Although staff retention has shown some improvement, turnover rates remain high and we still see more than half of staff (58.8%) leaving in the first 3 years in post and almost a third (30.7%) leaving in their first year and we still appear to know far too little about where they go and why.” 

Personal reasons’ remains the top reason given for leaving a post; ‘career development’ has risen to second place with significant increases over recent years and ‘competition from other employers’ has more than doubled in recent years. Perhaps another indication of an ageing workforce ‘retirement’ and ‘ill health’ now feature in the top 6 reasons for leaving.

Des Kelly added:

“One of the most worrying findings is the seemingly shrinking proportion of younger people in the workforce. It is vital that we have strategies to attract young people to work in care – they are also our future managers. 

Apprenticeships and ambassadors are helpful but clearly not enough! It should be a priority for the care sector to work together to improve this situation.”

Given its importance to ensuring service quality, staffing remains a fundamental issue for care service providers. Faced with continuing austerity and budget constraints, NCF is committed to supporting our members to overcome the challenges ahead.