Almost 340,000 adult social care workers in England quit their jobs last year, meaning over 900 left their roles each day, according to new figures.
And around 60%, or 550 a day, of those staff left the care sector altogether.
Reasons for the loss of staff include low pay, lack of job security and being overworked.
Last year, prior to the introduction of the mandatory National Living Wage, average care worker pay was £7.46 an hour, or £14,800 a year for full-time staff – compared to £27,600 a year for the average UK worker.
One in every four social care workers was employed on a zero hours contract.
There was an estimated shortage of 84,320 care workers, meaning around one in every 20 care roles remained vacant, and remaining staff were left to cope with the workload.
The investigation by Skills for Care found that:
- In 2015-16 there were over 1.3 million people employed in the adult social care sector in England.
- Workers had, on average, eight years of experience in the sector and four years of experience in role.
- The average age of a worker was 43-years-old and a fifth were over 55-years-old.
- The majority of workers had or were working towards a Care Certificate.
- The starters rate was 35% and turnover rate was 27% – nearly twice the average for other professions in the UK.
A recent report by Age UK found that the care system is ‘teetering on the edge of collapse.’
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mike Padgham, Chairman of the UK Homecare Association, said: ‘My biggest fear is that we will soon run out of capacity to provide care to those who cannot fund themselves.
‘I agree wholeheartedly with Age UK’s warning that the social care system will begin to collapse this year, but I would go further and say that the system has already begun to collapse.’
A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘Social care jobs have increased at an average of 3% a year since 2010, but we want to see improvements in turnover rates, with talented staff attracted to a robust sector backed by an additional £2bn over the next three years.
‘Meanwhile, we’re investing in the workforce of the future, with a total of 87,800 apprentices starting last year – up 37,300 compared to 2010.’