Campaigners have called for change in public perception towards care workers after it was revealed England could face a shortfall of more than 700,000 staff – in just 10 years.
The incredible figures mean a staggering 40 per cent of the projected increase in the country’s working age population will need to enter to care profession to tackle the shortage.
To add to worries it has also emerged that men make up just 18 per cent the care workforce.
Currently just four per cent of working males undertaking a career in health and social care.
The study, undertaken by the International Longevity Centre UK and care charity Anchor has called for the urgent review to ensure providers meet the care needs of the soaring numbers of older people.
The study found that if current trends continue England could face a shortfall of 718,000 care workers by 2025.
Jane Ashcroft, CBE, the Chief Executive of Anchor, said: “We must address this workforce time bomb.
“The care sector needs to attract a wider range of staff, young and old, and we need more men to consider care as a potential career – particularly as men are living longer.
“Our workforce should reflect the diversity of our customers.
The groups call for care providers to examine factors encouraging jobseekers to join the care section.
The survey found that of the more than 900,000 young people still unemployed half of 16 to 25-year-olds said they would think about a career in care if they knew about development opportunities within the sector.
Almost a quarter said they would move into the field if there was more positive public perception of the role.
Additional research found that even though 94 per cent of young people agree care is a suitable profession for a man, a quarter of men aged 16 to 25 said they would never consider it.
Nearly a third of young men said it was because they simply did not know enough about the job.
However, the groups claim problem is exasperated after nearly a fifth of parents – those likely to be impacted by the shortage of carers – reported they would not suggest a career in care to their children.
A third stated their child “could do better”.
Jane added: “At Anchor we are creating roles ranging from care assistants through to managerial positions at our new developments.
“We offer extensive training and promotion prospects that we hope will continue to encourage people to consider joining and staying in the care workforce.”
The report also found older people themselves could play a role in care.
A huge 75 per cent said they have never considered a career in care, but 47 per cent would be persuaded into the profession if they knew they would be supported by training.
Asa Lehane-Johnson, 25, works across Surrey for Anchor as an Activities Advisor.
He says: “I was looking for a career change, and specifically wanted to find a role that meant I worked with older people. I found Anchor’s approach to care, ‘Happy Living for the Years Ahead’, to be extremely positive, and felt that they were the company for me.
“My initial role as Activity Co-ordinator was so rewarding, knowing that I was offering a program of activities and social events that had a positive impact on the older people living within the care home.
“Anchor also encourages career development, and that has worked wonderfully for me, as I have been able to develop my career to working within my new role of Customer Engagement Advisor.
“Care is an ever increasing and developing sector. Working in care can be so rewarding, and there is so much to learn from the older generation.”