2017 Scottish Social Service Workforce Data Report

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) published the 2017 Workforce Data Report today. The report shows that the size of the social service workforce has increased to 202,090, a rise of 0.7% since 2016, the highest level recorded since these reports began. The social service workforce makes up approximately 7.7% of all Scottish employment. The whole time equivalent (WTE) measure of the workforce is 150,960, an increase of 0.3% since 2016.

This year the stability index of the workforce is 77.1%. This means just over three-quarters of the workforce remained in the same post since last year.

The largest employer type differs between local authority areas, with services in Orkney, Shetland and Na h-Eileanan Siar (the three island authorities) provided mainly by the public sector. However, in most areas the private sector is the largest employer.

Lorraine Gray, SSSC Chief Executive said: ‘This year we have seen growth in the social service workforce by 0.7% to 202,090 with the whole time equivalent (WTE) measure also rising by 0.3% to 150,960 people.

‘The social service workforce is an important and growing sector. It makes up 7.7% of all Scottish employment, which is around 1 in 13 people. The three largest areas are housing support/care at home, care homes for adults and day care of children; together these account for almost 78% of the workforce. This will continue to grow with policy changes like self-directed support and the increased entitlement of childcare hours meaning we will need more care at home/housing support and early years workers over the next few years.’

Key points from this year’s Workforce Data Report.

  • The size of the workforce has increased to 202,090, a rise of 0.7% since 2016. This is the highest level recorded since these reports began. The social service workforce makes up approximately 7.7% of all Scottish employment.
  • The whole time equivalent (WTE) measure of the workforce is 150,960, an increase of 0.3% since 2016.
  • The stability index of the workforce is 77.1%. This means just over three-quarters of the workforce remained in the same post since last year.
  • The largest employer type differs between local authority areas, with services in Orkney, Shetland and Na h-Eileanan Siar (the three island authorities) provided mainly by the public sector. However, in most areas the private sector is 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 78% of the workforce.
  • The median* age of the workforce is highest in the public sector (48) and lowest in the private sector (41). Early years workers in the private sector have the lowest median age (28).
  • The percentage of men working in the sector is 15%, although it is around double or greater that proportion in criminal justice and residential children’s services.
  • The workforce is mainly employed on permanent contracts (81%).
  • The median figure for the typical weekly hours worked by staff is 31.5 and 50% of the workforce work full time (more than 30 hours per week).

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 service sector in Scotland at the end of 2017. The SSSC is an official statistics provider.

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