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CPA calls for Government review of care workforce: vacancies up by 52 percent

13 October 2022

Skills for Care’s latest State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce report reveals the deepening recruitment and retention crisis within social care.

The report reveals that there are 165,000 vacancies within the sector on any given day – an increase of 55,000 or 52 per cent since 2020/21.

The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England also indicates that we will need 480,000 to join the workforce by 2035 in order to keep up with increasing demand.

On average, 1 in 11 posts are vacant across the sector.

The report also reveals the insecure nature of employment contracts with almost 1 in 4 staff employed on zero-hours contracts (equivalent to 358,000 filled posts).

Responding to the report, Care Provider Alliance chair, Nadra Ahmed said:

“Care staff provide essential services to millions of our most vulnerable citizens every day. Yet they continue to be treated as unskilled workers when it comes to reward and recognition. As a result, we simply do not have the quantity of care workers to make services sustainable in the future. That is a crisis which will affect every community across the country – and of course it will have a major impact on the NHS as those unable to access social care repeatedly look to GPs and hospitals for support.

“On behalf of the services who struggle to recruit and retain staff, the Care Provider Alliance (CPA) repeats our call for a Government-led review focused on creating a new career-based pay and reward structure for these essential workers. It’s not a simple issue, so the review must involve employers, commissioners, staff, people who use services and their families.

“The CPA believes that the social care pay and reward structure should be: comparable with the NHS; fully-funded by central Government; and mandatory on employers and commissioners of services.

“We will, of course, continue to work with our partners in the Department of Health and Social Care, Local Government Association, Association of Director of Adult Social Service and Skills for Care to consider the true development needs for our workforce sustainability now and in the future.”

The CPA represents employers of over 70 per cent of the adult social care workforce in England. The Alliance is renewing its focus on improving pay and reword for care staff and believe that, by working in partnership with employees, employers, commissioners and policy makers we can build the right solution to enhance the state of the care workforce.

Notes to Editors§

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) brings together the 11 main national associations which represent independent and voluntary adult social care providers in England. We work to represent the sector and ensure a coordinated response to the major issues that affect it.

The Care Provider Alliance is an informal body with a rotating chair. Membership is of the representative associations with a national membership across the whole of England. However, some CPA members also represent services in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Together our members provide care and support to 1.2 million people through residential, home-based and community services, whether commissioned by local authorities and the NHS or privately purchased. Together our members employ over 620,000 care workers.

Our members’ services include residential and nursing care, homecare, supported living and extra care housing, shared lives schemes, advocacy and telephone helplines. They support children, adults of working age and older people.

For more information on the Care Provider Alliance visit


Media contact: Care Provider Alliance,

Related links§

CPA members’ responses to the Skills for Care report

ARC England: Skills for Care Report: Is it possible to look on the bright side?

Homecare Association: Response to the State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England report

National Care Forum: NCF calls on government to tackle deepening workforce crisis

Care England: The writing is on the wall