The 2021 Staff vacancies in care services report

28 Nov 2022

The Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) have published new figures on the levels of staff vacancies in Scotland’s care services. This report is based on data from 31 December 2021. As with previous reports, this report provides a national overview of vacancies and recruitment difficulties reported by care services to the Care Inspectorate, the body which registers and inspects all care services. It also includes data on vacancies as a percentage of the total whole time equivalent (WTE) workforce.

At 31 December 2021, there were just under 11,900 registered services providing care and support for children, young people, adults and older people across Scotland. Just under 4,000 of these services were childminders, which are not included in the remainder of this report. The remaining 7,900 services employed an estimated 183,2501 staff – a decrease of 2.3% on the previous year’s estimate. Around 40% (about 73,120 workers, a decrease of 2.3%) work in care at home and/or housing support services; 28% (about 51,010 workers, a decrease of 3.6%) work in care homes for adults and older people and a further 22% (about 41,180 workers, up 7.5%) in daycare of children services. The reduction in workforce has been driven mainly by decreases in staff in the care homes for adults and housing support/care at home service types, whilst being slightly offset by an increase in staff numbers in day care of children services. The social service workforce makes up approximately 7.9% of all Scottish employment. The reduction in the workforce has therefore consequentially increased the percentage of services reporting vacancies.


The tables and are available in Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) and OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods) format.  Additionally, the tables are available in non-proprietary Comma Separated Values (CSV) format, 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 (Excel 2010) .xlsx 73.2 Download
All tables (Open document) .ods 59.4 Download
All tables (CSV zipped) .csv 26.3 Download