'One in 10' care jobs vacant in South Tyne

One in 10 adult social care jobs in South Tyneside were unfilled last year, according to new figures.

Adult care worker shortage.
Adult care worker shortage.

Data from the Skills for Care charity show there were around 2,700 jobs available in the area’s adult social care sector in 2021-22 – with roughly 2,500 of these posts filled.

It also estimates there was a record high 165,000 (11%) vacant posts in England last month – with the sector facing complex challenges, including a surge in demand and recruitment and retention problems.

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The vacancy rate in South Tyneside was just below the national average at 10% – and a vacancy rate for registered nurses at 31% and care workers at 13%.

South Tyneside had a staff turnover rate of 32% across all adult social care services, with rates high among registered nurses (74%) and care workers (32%).

Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK and co-chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said: “Recruitment and retention in social care have been difficult for some years but both now appear to be getting markedly worse.

"The main problem is pay. A cash starved care sector simply can’t compete with the big supermarkets and online retailers on wages so committed staff are lured elsewhere."

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A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “We’re investing in adult social care and have made £500m available to support discharge from hospital into the community and bolster the workforce this winter."

They said care workers have also been added to the Shortage Occupation list – jobs which can be more easily filled by non-UK workers.