The importance of the adult social care sector to Wolverhampton's economy has been revealed for the first time.

Research commissioned by the City of Wolverhampton Council has found that around 6,500 people work in adult social care in Wolverhampton - and that the sector is worth around £250 million a year to the city.

The report found there are more than 130 adult social care establishments including care homes and care agencies operating in Wolverhampton. What's more, it is a growing sector, with 1,500 vacancies needing to be filled in the next 12 months alone.

The research, the first into the importance of the care sector to an individual town or city, was carried out by Skills for Care - a national care workforce organisation - and was revealed yesterday (Thursday 29 September, 2016) at a special Wolverhampton Business Week event for health and social care providers.

Councillor John Reynolds, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "The care industry is big business in Wolverhampton and makes a hugely significant contribution to the local economy. Adult social care alone contributes some £250 million a year and employs around 6,500 people.

"On top of this, we know that the NHS and Clinical Commissioning Group employs another 8,000 people and commissions £350 million of services each and every year.

"This is very important because so many providers of health and social care services are locally-based organisations, which means money spent on care is spent locally and so remains within the city. This in turn helps other sectors, particularly local retailers.

"We want a better workforce and people to invest in social care.

"The council, local businesses and training providers are committed to promoting employment opportunities in the sector, and we are working together to developing a Careers Into Care programme.

"This is establishing activities which will support people through all the phases of their employment, from recruitment to further development, by developing career paths and training packages which meet the needs of the 21st century health and social care workforce.

"This can only be done through a partnership approach, and will particularly help with recruitment and retention, as well as the replacement of the workforce as long serving staff retire."

Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, added: "The care industry is a growth area because not only are people living to a greater age, but better health care is enabling residents to live longer with long-term care conditions. At the same time, more people with disabilities or mental health needs are being supported to live independently in their local community.

"There are many different career paths available within the adult social care sector, taking in a wide range of roles and responsibilities. I would encourage people who are interested in a career in this burgeoning sector to speak to local providers, or consider enrolling on one of the many social care courses offered by our local college, university or Adult Education Wolverhampton."

For more information about working in the care sector, please visit Type=links;Linkid=7613;Title=Skills for Care;Target=_blank;.

For more information about social care courses offered by the City of Wolverhampton College, please log on to Type=links;Linkid=3989;Title=City of Wolverhampton College;Target=_blank;, for the University of Wolverhampton go to Type=links;Linkid=7343;Title=University of Wolverhampton;Target=_blank; or for Adult Education Wolverhampton please visit Type=links;Linkid=2102;Title=Adult Education Service;Target=_blank;.

The Skills for Care report, Care and the Local Economy, is available at Type=links;Linkid=7614;Title=INVEST - Wolverhampton: the caring city;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Friday 30 September, 2016