Social service workforce at highest-ever level

The social service workforce is at its highest-ever level, according to a new report from the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

The Scottish Social Service Sector:  Report on 2020 Workforce Data reveals that the social service workforce in Scotland has increased to 209,690, a rise of 1.6% since 2019.  This is the highest level since the SSSC’s reports were first published in 2008.  The social service workforce makes up around 8% of all Scottish employment.

Key findings from the report are as follows:

  • Growth in housing support/care at home services accounted for the overall rise in the social service workforce.
  • The largest employer type is the private sector, with 39% of total employment. This is followed by the public sector, with 34%, and the voluntary sector, with 27%.
  • Fifty-two per cent of social service workers are in full-time jobs.
  • Almost five-sixths of the workforce is employed in direct care roles.
  • The median age of the workforce is 44.
  • Eighty-three per cent of the social service workforce is female.

Reflecting on the report, ELCAP Chief Executive Paul White said:

“The SSSC’s report provides an invaluable picture of the size and shape of the social service workforce in Scotland.  It helps organisations like ELCAP understand how we compare with our sector as a whole, while the detailed information in the report assists us with workforce planning.

With more people living for longer with a range of long-term conditions and the Scottish Government’s commitment to a National Care Service, we can expect further growth in the social service workforce.”