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New report gives snapshot of social care workforce in Wales

13 June 2022
Social Care Wales

A new report we’ve published reveals that around 91,000 people work in the social care sector in Wales. The report also shows that more than 80 per cent of the workforce is female.

Compiled from data collected through a survey of all the local authorities in Wales, the Social care workforce report gives a clear picture of the workforce as it stood on 31 March 2021.

This is the first time we have carried out the survey in its entirety, as the information was previously collected separately. Every local authority in Wales responded and data was received from 2,173 settings or providers of social care in Wales.

Some of the main findings of the survey are:

  • 81 per cent of the social care workforce is female
  • residential care for adults is the largest part of the sector, accounting for just over 28 per cent of the social care workforce
  • adult placement schemes is the smallest part of the workforce, representing 0.2 per cent of the total
  • about 61,000 people are employed in commissioned services and 30,000 people in local authority-run social care services, making the independent market twice the size of local authority-run services
  • 78 per cent of the workforce is employed on a permanent contract
  • 50 per cent of the workforce work 36 hours or more per week
  • nearly 90 per cent of the workforce is from a white ethnic background
  • more than 40 per cent of the workforce has some Welsh language ability.

Commenting on the report, Sarah McCarty, Director of Improvement and Development at Social Care Wales, said: “The data provides a valuable insight into the social care workforce in Wales.

“Our understanding of the data and what the data tells us is important in making sure the sector can provide the best support for the workforce and the best care and support for the people of Wales.

“The information in the report will be critical in supporting effective approaches to workforce planning, a key action of Our Workforce Strategy for Health and Social Care, which we’ve led with Health Education and Improvement Wales.”

You can download the Social care workforce report below.