2015 Scottish Social Service Workforce Data Report

2015 Workforce Data Report published today, 31 August 2016.

WDreportThe report shows that the size of the social service workforce continues to grow and is now at 203,200, an increase of 1.8% on the previous year. This means the workforce is the largest it’s been since these reports started in 2008 and makes up approximately 7.8% of Scottish employment.

The private sector is the biggest social service employer with 42% of the workforce. The public sector makes up 31% and the voluntary sector 28% of the workforce, which is similar to 2014 although both the private and voluntary sectors have increased their shares slightly. There was a small fall in headcount in the public sector (-0.9% to 62,040) while the private (+3.2% to 85,110) and voluntary (+2.7% to 56,050) sectors grew in size.

The proportion of staff working for different types of employers does vary considerably across Scotland however ranging from just 16% working in the public sector in East Dunbartonshire to 89% in Shetland.

Anna Fowlie, SSSC Chief Executive said:

‘Our report shows the social service workforce is continuing to grow with an increase of more than 3,500 this year. Care at home and housing support saw the largest actual rise in headcount, which again reflects the continuing move to self-directed support and how people use services.

‘The workforce is predominantly female at 85% so there is a challenge and an opportunity to attract more men into social service careers at a time when many more traditional industries are in decline.’

Key points from this year’s Workforce Data Report.

  • The size of the workforce has increased to 203,200, an increase of 1.8%. This makes the workforce the largest it has been since these reports began in 2008 and approximately 7.8% of Scottish employment.
  • The largest employer type differs between local authority areas, with services in the Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles (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 77% of the workforce.
  • The median* age of the workforce is highest in the public sector (48) and lowest in the private sector (40). 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 more than double in criminal justice and residential children’s services.
  • The workforce is mainly employed on permanent contracts (80%).
  • The median* figure for the typical weekly hours worked by staff is 32 and 51% 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 2015.

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