Scottish social services sector: report on 2012 workforce data

04 Dec 2014

Revised Publication

The SSSC has revised and republished the 2012 Scottish Social Services workforce data report. This follows the identification of an error in the original version of the 2012 report published in September 2013. The error resulted in the social service workforce headcount being underestimated by approximately 1,200 i.e. 0.6% of the sector's workforce.

The error affected chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8 of the original report. The revisions to these chapters have now been made as have the changes to: the data by area for 2012; the 2012 data within the interactive visualisation section of the SSSC data site; and any data queries answered by the SSSC using data from 2012. More detail on the nature of the error and the revisions required will be available in the Revisions section of the website in the next few days.

This is the fifth workforce data report published by the SSSC and the second which is a 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 services sector in Scotland at the end of 2012.

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This report provides a detailed 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 follows that used in the SSSC's previous Workforce Data reports for 2008-2011.

Key points from the analysis within this report include:

  • the size of the workforce appears to have fallen slightly to 192,360 people.
  • the largest employer type differs between local authorities, with services in the Orkneys, Shetlands and Western Isles (i.e. the three "island authorities") being provided mainly by the public sector. However, the majority of areas have the private sector as 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 76% 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.
  • the percentage of men working in the sector remains at 16%, though it is double this in criminal justice and residential children's services.
  • the workforce is predominantly employed on permanent contracts (79%). The median figure for the typical weekly hours worked by staff is close to full-time at 32.5.

Copies of the individual tables and charts will be made available for download soon. Tables and charts will be made 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 will be available together in a compressed ZIP file. The provision of the data in these formats is intended to facilitate its analysis and re-use.

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 made available by the SSSC in late 2014.

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.