Labour force shortages in social care - who remains, who leaves?

Child care and rearing, working with families and young people, assisting the elderly, working in workshops and homes for the disabled – these are typical tasks of social care workers, whose primary aim is to integrate all population segments into society.

Kids paint with child care worker / educator
Adobe Stock/Robert Kneschke

And yet, there are not enough skilled workers in social care.

Labour force shortages can be addressed by ensuring that enough young people undergo training and by keeping existing social care workers in the field. For this reason, OBS SFUVET conducted several career studies from August 2016 to September 2019 on behalf of SAVOIRSOCIAL. These studies were partially funded by SERI

  1. We asked learners and students in the social care field about the reasons why they chose to pursue training and employment in social care. We then contacted them a few years later to see whether or not they could implement their plans.
  2. We explored the perspectives of those who take up employment in this field: what prompted them wanting to work in this field and were they satisfied with their work?
  3. We contacted former social care workers to find out why they had left the field.

These studies are intended to provide trade associations, schools and companies with urgently needed information about how to improve training, career prospects and working conditions. Drawing from the experience of involved partiesis the only way to make training more appealing, to train an adequate number of young people in this field and to prevent existing social care workers from leaving. 

Additional information