The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has stated that chronic underfunding and a dysfunctional system is leading to a “growing workforce crisis” in England’s social care sector.
The IPPR report estimates a 400,000 staff shortage in England’s social care workforce by 2028, due in large part to the impact of Brexit.
The report has urged the UK Government to follow Scotland’s example by committing to a Real Living Wage for all adult social care staff – attracting more personnel into the sector.
The report, Fair Care: A Workforce Strategy for Social Care, also notes that a recent survey conducted by Unison found 94% of care staff believed England should take note of the example set by Scotland and introduce an official professional register for care workers, helping to improve regulation and boost training opportunities for staff.
A recent report commissioned by The Scottish Government found that nearly 10,000 adult social care and childcare workers in Scotland are EU nationals.
Managers of care services interviewed for the study said the UK’s decision to leave the EU meant many were worried about future recruitment and retention problems.
They also felt they lacked information on Brexit’s potential impacts and how to help workers and services plan. All EU workers interviewed wanted to stay in Scotland, but were confused about eligibility for temporary residency status.
Commenting, SNP MSP Emma Harper said: “This latest report makes clear that Scotland’s social care sector continues to lead the rest of the UK, and illustrates the huge steps this SNP Government have made to improve the Scottish system.
“However, the threat Brexit poses to the social care workforce is not confined to England alone. Through their knowledge, professionalism and hard work, EU Nationals make a huge contribution to our social care services here in Scotland.
“While Westminster fail to offer clarity for EU Nationals regarding their future, it is of the upmost importance the Scottish Government do all it can to help these valued professionals stay in Scotland post-Brexit.
“While the Tories seem intent on sticking to their anti-migration agenda, it is vital that Scotland is handed powers to tailor its own migration policy that reflects the needs of our growing workforce.”