Sector insights: skills and performance challenges in the health and social care sector

Sector insights: skills and performance challenges in the health and social care sector
Document type
Report
Author(s)
Howat, C.; Lawrie, M.; Sutton, R.
Publisher
UKCES
Date of publication
1 May 2015
Series
Evidence reports. No. 91
Subject(s)
People management: all aspects of managing people
Collection
Business and management
Material type
Reports

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This report examines skills and performance challenges facing the health and social care sector. 

It provides a synthesis of evidence on the sector outlook, identifies major trends affecting skills demand, investigates employer perceptions of skills challenges facing specific occupations, and investigates employer awareness of, engagement with and interest in National Occupational Standards (ONS).


The study focuses on five key occupations in the sector: 

Care assistants 

Care home managers and proprietors 

Medical professionals, and

Physiotherapists and nursing auxiliaries.


Key findings


The health and social care sector is the largest sector in the UK, employing nearly four million people. 

It is wide-ranging, covering highly complex acute care delivered in hospital settings as well as personal care and support delivered in people’s homes or in residential care settings. 

It is anticipated that over two million new workers will need to be trained and recruited into the health and social care sector between 2012 and 2022 as the sector grows and some members of staff retire. This is equivalent to over half of the existing workforce and presents key challenges for training and staff retention.

The sector could take a number of steps to address current and future challenges in the health and social care workforce. These include:


• Designing dual route training opportunities and qualifications for new entrants to the sector, which would allow staff to pursue a health or social care career path.
• Sharing learning on recruitment and workforce planning to aid the delivery of personalised and integrated care.
• Sharing learning on how to engage lower skilled workers in workplace learning.
• Undertaking exploratory scenario planning to examine the future shape of health and social care support jobs.
• Moving away from a narrowly-defined, task-orientated NOS and encouraging greater use of NOS by national and sector bodies in when developing training across the sector. 

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