Scottish Social Service Sector: Report on 2020 Workforce Data

31 Aug 2021

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) today published Scottish Social Service Sector: Report on 2020 Workforce Data.

This is the 13th workforce data report published by the SSSC and the 10th set of Official Statistics. The report combines administrative data from the Care Inspectorate with data collected by the SSSC directly from local authorities to form a comprehensive picture of the paid workforce employed in the social service sector in Scotland at the end of 2020.

Download (PDF, 952Kb)

This report provides an overview of the data at a national level and, where possible, also provides data sub-divided by sub-sector or local authority area. The format of the report mainly follows the SSSC’s previous workforce data reports for 2008-2019.

Key points

  • The size of the workforce has increased to 209,690, a rise of 1.6% since 2019. This is the highest level recorded since these reports began. The social service workforce makes up approximately 8.0% of all Scottish employment.
  • This increase has been driven mainly by increases to the housing support/care at homesub-sector, although in thepublic sector it was in day care of children.
  • The whole time equivalent (WTE) measure of the workforce is 159,260, an increase of 2.6% since 2019.
  • The stability index of the workforce is 80.8%.This means just over four-fifthsof the workforce remained in the same post since last year.
  • The largest employer type differs between local authority areas, with services in Orkney, Shetland and Na h-Eileanan Siar (the three island authorities) provided mainly by the public sector. However, in most areas the private sector is the largest employer.
  • The three largest sub-sectors are housing support/care at home, care homes for adults and day care of children; together, these account for almost 79% of the workforce.
  • The median age of the workforce is highest in the public sector (47) and lowest in the private sector (40). Early years workers in the private sector have the lowest median age (29).
  • The percentage of men working in the sector is 15%, although it is around double or greater that proportion in criminal justice and residential children’s services.
  • The workforce is predominantly employed on permanent contracts (83%).
  • The median figure for the typical weekly hours worked by staff is 32.5 and 52% of the workforce work full time (more than 30 hours per week).

As an Official Statistics product, this publication complies with the Pre-Release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008. The list of people who have pre-release access can be found here.

Data Tables and Charts

The tables and charts in this report are available in Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) and OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods) format, plus all the report's data tables in non-proprietary Comma Separated Values (CSV) format. The CSV files are provided together in a compressed ZIP file. The provision of the data in these formats is intended to facilitate its analysis and re-use.

Description File type File size (KB)  
All tables .xlsx 66.7 Download
All tables .ods 34.8 Download
All tables (compressed CSV files) .zip 19.8 Download
All charts (compressed) .zip 891.7 Download

Also available for download is the blank survey template used by local authority social work survey respondents to submit their data for December 2020. The explore the data section of the website will be updated in shortly.

More detailed tables giving a breakdown of the number of people working in all sub-sectors and employer types within individual local authority areas will be published in our detailed data section in the coming months.