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posted on 19th December 2018

New research from Global Future reveals the true scale of the adult residential care staffing crisis England could face if Government goes forward with plans to end Free Movement and ban so-called low-skilled migration.

It reveals:

 

  • Without Free Movement and a ban on so-called low-skilled workers, more than 30% of positions in England’s adult residential care sector could be left unfilled by 2028 – equivalent of leaving over 850,000 people without care
  • Almost 20% of today’s adult residential carers are non-UK nationals
  • Adult residential carers from the EU have risen dramatically – 65% over the last 5 years, offsetting a fall from workers from outside the EU
  • Without Free Movement and a ban on so-called low-skill migration we expect EU workers to fall 44% by 2028 – making the staffing crisis even worse.

 

Publishing the research, Global Future Director Peter Starkings said:

“Adult social care faces a staffing crisis – yet incredibly there are signs that government is about to make things even worse. Our research shows that adult residential care is particularly reliant on migrant workers – and therefore especially vulnerable. In recent years non-EU migrants have been leaving residential care roles because immigration rules make it almost impossible for new carers to come to Britain to work, but European workers have been there to pick up the slack.”

“If so-called low skilled European workers are banned from the end of 2020 – as the government is apparently planning to do – it would make a dreadful situation even worse. On current trends that could leave adult residential care with a staggering 285,000 positions unfilled, more than 30% – the equivalent of 850,000 people going uncared for.”

“When the Immigration White Paper emerges next week Ministers must not make the social care staffing crisis worse. There has to be a sensible route for European workers to help care for our loved ones as well as a proper plan to fund the sector and ensure that older and disabled people get the support they need.”

Background: How ending Free Movement could leave 30% of positions in England’s adult residential care sector unfilled by 2028

The Existing Staffing Crisis

Adult residential care jobs constitute 42% of all social care jobs in England today – 670,000 positions1
NMDS-SC workforce estimates 2012/13 to 2017/18

England requires a ratio of 1 social care worker to every 3 over 75s.
The latest skillsforcare workforce forecasts estimate that one adult social care job is required for every three people aged 75 and above in the population2

By 2028, on current trends England would require 924,000 adult residential care workers to care for the ageing population
By 2028, on current trends England would require 2.2 million social care workers, and therefore 924,000 adult residential care workers (42% of the total) in order to care for the ageing population. This requires an additional 249,000 adult residential care workers.

Workforce projections for 2028 based on skillsforcare forecast3
2017202020252028
75+ model1,600,0001,750,0002,050,0002,200,000

42% of the above jobs are in adult residential services – constituting a requirement for 924,000 workers in total, a 249,000 rise on current numbers.

On current trends we would expect 23% of roles to remain unfilled
Almost 20% of adult residential care jobs are done by non-UK nationals.

Adult residential care jobs (England)
Job roles2012/132013/142014/152015/162016/172017/18%
All job roles650,000635,000645,000655,000665,000670,000
British51721451137951792752703753914454059481%
Non-UK13278712362112707312796312585612940719%

NMDS-SC workforce estimates 2012/13 – 2017/18

Social Care Workers from Europe in adult residential care have risen 65% over the last 5 years, non-EU workers have fallen by almost 30%

Adult residential care jobs (England)
Job roles2012/132013/142014/152015/162016/172017/18change in
5 years
% change
All job roles650,000635,000645,000655,000665,000670,000
British51721451137951792752703753914454059423,3804.5%
EU3600138271443264996356035595022350165%
Non-EU967868535082747780006982169905-26881-28%

NMDS-SC workforce estimates 2012/13 – 2017/18

On current trends we expect adult residential care to add just 40,000 workers over the next decade.

British workers are rising by 4,700 a year, EU by 4,700, and non-EU workers are falling by 5,400 a year.

GF scenario 1: FM Continues
2017/182018/192019/202020/212021/222022/23
British540,600545,300550,000554,700559,400564,100
EU (non British)59,50064,20068,90073,60078,30083,000
Non-EU69,90064,50059,10053,70048,30042,900
Total670,000674,000678,000682,000686,000690,000
GF scenario 1: FM Continues
2023/242024/252025/262026/272027/28change% change
British568,800573,500578,200582,900587,60047,0009%
EU (non British)87,70092,40097,100101,800106,50047,00079%
Non-EU37,50032,10026,70021,30015,900-54,000-77%
Total694,000698,000702,000706,000710,00040,0006%

214,000 jobs would be left unfilled – 23% of all positions.

The Impact of ending Free Movement – making a bad situation even worse

Ending free movement at the end of the transition period (end December 2020) would further reduce the workforce by an additional 70,000 by 2028 – leaving more than 30% of positions unfilled – over 285,000 jobs.

GF scenario 2: FM Ends with a ban on so-called low-skill workers
2017/182018/192019/202020/212021/222022/23
British540,600545,300550,000554,700559,400564,100
EU (non British)59,50064,20068,90071,10065,70060,300
Non-EU69,90064,50059,10053,70048,30042,900
Total670,000674,000678,000679,400673,300667,200
GF scenario 2: FM Ends with a ban on so-called low-skill workers
2023/242024/252025/262026/272027/28change% change
British568,800573,500578,200582,900587,60047,0009%
EU (non British)54,90049,50044,10038,70033,300-26,200-44%
Non-EU37,50032,10026,70021,30015,900-54,000-76%
Total661,100655,000648,900642,800636,700-33,300-5%
  • In scenario 2, Global Future modelled a workforce projection using net change in the EU, Non-EU and British national workers in the adult residential care service in the last five years (2012/13-2017/18).
  • Based on this, British nationals rise by 4700 a year and Non-EU nationals fall by 5400 every year till 2027/28.
  • EU nationals will rise at the current rate of 4700 till 2019/20 and then fall at the same rate as non-Europeans at 5300 every year from 2021/22. For the year 2020/21, we have made an adjustment to account for the difference between the financial year and the calendar year.

 

This shortage rate (285,000 – 30% of positions unfilled) is equivalent to leaving over 850,000 people without care

End Notes

  1. 5,000 extra ‘Self-Employed Shared Lives’ have been excluded, as they do not affect the overall percentage (42%) and do not figure in the later data sets.
  2. The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England, p.100
  3. The size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England, 2018, p.51