North Yorkshire County Council has unveiled a recruitment drive for social care staff after experiencing a dramatic fall in the number of people applying for roles in the sector.
The local authority said there has 70 per cent drop in applications for jobs in social care across the 500 providers in the county since July.
The county’s social care leaders have sent out an appeal for people to join the sector, saying “never has the need for people to work in care been so great”.
“We are undertaking more locally the biggest ever recruitment campaign to attract people into a rewarding and progressive career,” said North Yorkshire County Council leader Cllr. Carl Les.
“There has never been a more urgent need for people to consider a career in care than now and never a more opportune time to come into it,” added Richard Webb, North Yorkshire County Council’s corporate director for health and adult services.
Councillor Michael Harrison, executive member for adult services, said: “We have people who have joined us from all different types of experiences, some from the entertainment sector; actors, drummers, from the travel sectors; pilots, cabin crew, and everything in-between.
“There is a great career to be had in care and great stability and we support people who join us with career development.
“From the word go you can make a big difference to somebody’s life in this job; the work that you do really counts towards improving lives and no two days are the same.”
North Yorkshire county has 20,000 people working in the care sector, from the 13,000 care and support workers in 500 organisations providing services in residential care and people’s homes through to social workers, project managers and administrators.
In a statement to the meeting, the authority’s leader, Councillor Carl Les, said: “I am pleased that as the government launches a nationwide initiative we are undertaking more locally the biggest ever recruitment campaign to attract people into a rewarding and progressive career.”
The council has recently warned the situation would only exacerbate with an estimated 200 fewer care workers in the county due to mandatory vaccination rules.
Care workers have also cited lack of pay progression, with staff with more than five years’ experience being paid just 6p more an hour than those with less than a year in the role in 2020-21, is a cause of recruitment difficulties.
In a statement to the meeting, Cllr Harrison said the county’s situation reflects fierce competition within the labour market alongside hospitality, retail, heavy goods transport and construction.
He said: “Pressures are building within nursing, residential home and domiciliary care capacity as a result of workforce pressures within the external market, and we continue to see provider failures in the system.
“Packages of care are being handed back to the council to either re-source or find alternative solutions to keep people safe.
“This is putting significant pressure on and impacting our in-house provision as we try to find solutions for people or fill the gaps using staff from our services.
“This is impacting our ability to provide reablement and respite services. Complex care packages are being handed back at short notice alongside those requiring two carers or in more rural locations.