2011 social services workforce statistics

31 Oct 2012

The private sector continues to be the biggest social services employer in Scotland with 42% of workers employed by private companies, according to new statistics released by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) today. The 2011 Workforce Data Report is the first report from the SSSC as an Official Statistics provider. The annual statistics also show a decrease in the overall size of the workforce.

The 2011 Workforce Data Report presents information on the number of social service workers in Scotland and a breakdown of the number of people working in all sub-sectors and employer types within individual local authorities.

Key points from the report include:

  • the size of the workforce appears to have fallen from 198,000 in 2010 to 195,000 in 2011, although changes in the collection of data mean that the figures cannot be directly comparable
  • the private sector forms 42% of the social care sector and is the only employer type to increase in size over the last year. The public and voluntary sector both decreased by 1% to 33% and 25% respectively
  • iIn the majority of local authority areas the private sector accounts for the largest part of the workforce compared to the public and voluntary sector
  • the largest sub-sectors are housing support/care at home, care home for adults and day care of children; together, these account for almost 77% of the workforce
  • roughly 70% of staff in care homes for adults are from the private sector
  • men comprise 16% of the overall workforce, though it is double in criminal justice services and residential children’s services
  • around 80% of the workforce are employed on permanent contracts.

Anna Fowlie, SSSC Chief Executive said:

“I am proud that this is our first workforce data report as an Official Statistics provider. We have been publishing workforce data since 2008 and becoming an approved provider of social services workforce data demonstrates our commitment to help the social service sector plan for the future.

“In the past year a number of developments have contributed to the statistics we have gathered including the financial restraints on organisations across all sectors and the start of the increasing integration of health and social care. Although the statistics show that there is a slight decrease in the size of the workforce overall in Scotland, around one in 12 people are employed with social services, making this workforce larger than the NHS.

“The Workforce Data Report highlights that the social service workforce is continuing to adapt as the way services are delivered and used by people changes with people using services having more choices in the care services they use. Our workforce will look very different over the next few years, recognising changing demographics in a very difficult financial climate and policy direction.

“Scotland’s ambition to deliver better services is built around people and the communities. Less money means tough decisions and having key information is even more important for employers of all sizes to improve and plan the future workforce to meet growing demand.”

The report is available to download and provides an overview of the data at a national level and combines data from the SSSC’s annual census of staff in local authority social work services as well as data collected by the Care Inspectorate from all registered care providers.