'One in 10' care jobs vacant in Northumberland

Adult care worker shortage.Adult care worker shortage.
Adult care worker shortage.
One in 10 adult social care jobs in Northumberland were unfilled last year, according to new figures.

Data from the Skills for Care charity show there were around 8,200 jobs available in the area’s adult social care sector in 2021-22 – with roughly 7,800 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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The vacancy rate in Northumberland was below the national average at 10% – with the rate for registered nurses at 18% and 12% in support and outreach roles.

Northumberland had a turnover rate of 41% across all adult social care services, with rates especially high among care workers (46%) and direct care staff (43%).

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."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

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.