Forum’s bid to find new care workers

The Oxfordshire Workforce Forum will take place on 9.00am - 4.30pm, Monday 25th January 2016 at Unipart Conference Centre, Unipart House.

The Forum is being held in response to increasing demands on Oxfordshire’s social care workforce which includes  home care workers, care home workers and nurses, social workers, as well as informal carers, personal assistants, community groups, and volunteers. These groups are all critical to meeting the needs of Oxfordshire’s most vulnerable people.

The event is being organised by a local partnership, which includes Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers and Skills for Care, to bring together a range of social care providers with responsibility for workforce planning, recruitment and retention.

Delegates will share their knowledge, information & resources to develop creative solutions to meet current and future workforce issues. They will also hear from outside speakers.

Current workforce shortages are expected to become more severe over the next few years unless effective, co-ordinated action is taken.

It is projected that the social care workforce in the county will need to grow by 7,500 by 2025, an increase of 53%. That means an average annual increase of around 750 jobs per year will be required.

There are a number of reasons for this growing workforce shortage. They include:

  • Rising demand for care and support from our ageing population
  • Increasingly complex care and support needs, and a greater emphasis on looking after people at home and in the community.
  • Poor workforce retention. Currently, 29% of social care workers or 3,700 people change jobs each year, with approximately half of these leaving the sector.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Deputy Director of Joint Commissioning Kate Terroni said: "As the Council continues to support people with more complex needs to live independently in their own homes, social care workers are increasingly important. Nationally we already have 1.5 million workers in the care industry and that figure is expected to grow by a further million over the next 10 years.

“However it is not just numbers, we want the right people in the job which is why we need to recruit people with the right values, behaviours and attitudes, and who have the right attributes to be care workers. That is why it is important that we draw from the great experience of everyone in the forum to find effective ways of not just recruiting the right staff but retaining them.”