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Thursday Insight: The Future of the Care Sector

Thursday Insight: The Future of the Care Sector

The care industry is a critical one, as well as being one of the largest and most diverse sectors of the UK economy. The number of adult social care jobs in England as at 2016 was estimated at 1.55 million, and is set to increase further as the elderly population grows.

Key figures

  • Last year, the sector was estimated to contribute £40.4 billion per annum to the economy
  • Almost 80% of jobs in the care sector are in the private sector
  • The average employee in the sector is 43 years old
  • The turnover rate of staff in the sector last year stood at 27.3%

In this blog post, we’ll examine three of the key challenges faced by the sector, and what small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the sector can expect going forward.


One of the biggest issues facing the sector is retention and recruitment of staff. The sector as a whole sees high turnover rates, and a large proportion of this is a result of people leaving their jobs soon after starting. This will increase in the long-term: the UK will need to attract and train 1.6 million health and social care workers by 2022 to keep up with current demand. But as negative stories about peoples’ experiences working in the sector continue to surface, SMMEs need to think seriously about how they can position themselves as good employers. Our training sessions on marketing can help give your business the tools you need to do this.


One obstacle preventing SMMEs in care from expanding is failure to bring their systems up-to-date with the newest technology. Research has shown that only one-third of care providers are taking advantage of digital systems for their everyday operations. There is a lack of understanding of digital systems and how they can benefit providers. To buck this trend, SMMEs should be seeking out opportunities to update their systems, and their recruitment strategies should also focus on recruiting workers who are more confident using modern technologies.

Winning contracts

As local authorities find their budgets increasingly under pressure, many are outsourcing adult social care services to private providers. This creates opportunities for SMMEs in care, as well as challenges: many SMMEs can face disadvantage in tendering processes compared to larger, more established providers. The support on offer in the Building Legacies programme helps SMMEs to grow and become ‘fitter to supply’, whilst assisting them to prepare successful bids for new contracts and works opportunities. For more information about the range of support on offer please contact or call the office on 020 7537 6480.


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