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07 Dec 2021

Workforce data

Staff Vacancies in Care Services 2020

The Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) have today published new figures on the levels of staff vacancies in Scotland’s social care services. It shows the level of reported vacancies in social care is more than three times that across all types of employers. 

The annual ‘Staff Vacancies in Care Services 2020’ report provides a national overview of vacancy levels reported by care services registered with the Care Inspectorate.  

At 31 December 2020, 36% of services reported having vacancies, a fall of three percentage points in the last year. However, to put this in the context of the wider labour market, the Scottish Government’s Employer Skills Survey in 2020, which covers all types of employers, found that 11% of all establishments, across all sectors in Scotland, reported having a vacancy.  

Although the trend in the percentage of services reporting vacancies is decreasing, in both social care services and for the employers as a whole across Scotland, the fall is much smaller for social care services (2 percentage points) compared to all types of employers (9 percentage points). 

Service types reporting the highest levels of vacancies were housing support, (60%) care at home (59%), care homes for older people (55%) and care homes for adults (48%). 

East Ayrshire (47% of services), Edinburgh (47% of services) and Renfrewshire (44% of services) had the highest proportion of services with vacancies of all local authority areas.  

Lorraine Gray, chief executive of the SSSC said:

'We know the pandemic made the staffing challenges that many services already experienced worse and that these challenges continue. 

'We’ve worked closely with the Scottish Government and other key stakeholders over the past two years on their campaign to promote adult social care jobs, There’s More to Care Than Caring. 

'This is just one strand of our careers work to help address staffing and recruitment challenges in the sector and we continue to work closely with the sector, education and training providers to attract more people to work in social care. 

'It is a worthwhile and rewarding career for people with the right values, there’s the chance to do training and qualifications and progress your career as part of a professional workforce.'

Peter Macleod, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate said:

'It is important to remember the data in this report reflects the situation in care services in 2020, and was provided by them at a very difficult time.  

'We are all grateful for the incredible dedication and commitment our skilled and qualified workforce displayed during that particularly challenging period, and indeed continue to display.  

'We know many parts of the social service sector faced challenges filling vacancies before the pandemic and that this continues to be the case.  

'This report gives us a detailed understanding of the challenges across the wider social care sector as registered care services provide this information as part of their annual returns to the Care Inspectorate. The annual returns ask services to share information about the numbers of vacancies, difficulties filling vacancies and related questions, across social care.'

Read Staff Vacancies in Care Services 2020.

Contact information

Sandra Wilson
Communications Officer
Scottish Social Services Council