One-fifth of homecare workers remain in post for longer than 10 years

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Two-thirds of domiciliary care workers in Wales have been in their current role for more than two years, while one-fifth have remained in their job for more than a decade.

The figures, which debunk some of the myths about retention of staff, have been revealed in a report published by Social Care Wales.

At 1 June, there were 19,637 domiciliary care workers on its register, which opened to homecare staff in April 2018. From 1 April this year it became mandatory for all employees to be registered if working in the country, allowing for more accurate data and information on the workforce.

The number of homecare workers in the sector is 4,000 more than Social Care Wales forecast at the start of the process.

Assistant director of regulation at the organisation Hywel Dafydd said: ‘There are a lot of perceptions about the social care workforce; that it’s quite transient.

‘In Wales we have quite a reliable and steady workforce who are committed to their roles for a significant amount of time. They have worked to a certain qualification to perform their role to a high level and deliver vital care and support for people who need it. It came as a pleasant surprise that we could bust some of the myths that are out there about the workforce.’

Almost two-thirds (64%) of workers have an appropriate qualification, and most of the remainder are working towards one, Domiciliary care workers on the Register said.

‘It goes to show the value of having registration, so we have an accurate snapshot of how we work,’ Dafydd said.

‘The first thing that attracts people to work in social care is that it’s value based, and people are committed to making a difference. If you have an employer that has the same value base, supports learning and progression and provides you with the professional space to make a difference then that will cultivate a strong staffing group,’ he said.

The report showed 48% of homecare workers are employed by private operators, followed by 30% in the third sector, 20% in local authorities, with the remaining registered with a recruitment agency or in health.

Most workers (84%) are female. Last year, a campaign was launched to get more men into the sector.

‘Hopefully more men as well as other underrepresented groups will engage with social care employment so the workforce reflects the society they’re serving,’ Dafydd added.

Social Care Wales is a Welsh government sponsored body and was set up in April 2017 bringing together social care workforce regulation, staff development and early years sector and service improvement in one organisation.