SfC&D footprint - Our 'footprint' is the workforce we cover. SfC&D is the sector skills council (SSC) for people working in early years, children and young people's services, and those working in social work and social care for children and adults in the UK.
As a partnership of six organisations working across the UK in a devolved policy agenda, the remits of the partner organisations differs. This leads to a varying footprint definition across the UK. Please view the detailed SfC&D footprint definition (PDF).
Our sector provides services to more than 2.3 million adults and between 1.5 and 2.5 million families per year. SfC&D estimates that 70% of the UK population have been or are in contact with sector services, either provided directly to them or to a close family member. This includes a wide range of services ranging from personal care and help with living at home, to support for people with mental health needs, nursery places and childminding, child protection, help with adoption and fostering, and much more besides. At some point in their lives, most people will use a service provided by our sector.
Public and private expenditure upon these services is worth more than over £30 billion (bn) per year. UK public expenditure was worth more than £18bn for adult social care services during 2007-8 and approximately £6bn was spent upon services for adults with a disability. Many adult service users also contribute to or pay for services themselves (SfC&D estimates this may be worth in excess of a further £8bn). Children's social care expenditure in the UK is estimated as having been around £6.1bn in 2006-07. Public and private expenditure on early years' services exceeds £4bn each year.
SfC&D provides intelligence, briefings and market analysis for our sector to government, employers, workers, learning providers and a range of organisations with an interest in the challenges facing our sector.
Key facts and briefings
The sector employs just over 1.8 million people across the UK. The total number of workers within our footprint rose by around 2% in 2010 from just under 1.8 million in 2009 (to just over 1.8 million in 2010). The sector employs roughly 6% of the total UK workforce but around one in ten of all female workers.
There are more than 62,400 employers in the sector. Many are small and medium sized enterprises, more than 93% of sector businesses employ fewer than 50 workers. Almost half of the workforce (47%) is employed by private/ commercial organisations and less than a third work for the public sector (29%). More than 400,000 workers in our sector work for a charity or voluntary organisation (more than half of all such workers across the UK and 23% of the sector workforce).
SfC&D provides briefings and essential information about our sector to policy makers, commissioners of services, businesses, job seekers, the media and general public.
Industry skills assessments and agreements
Each year SfC&D prepares reports that set out our assessment of the demand for skills that exists across the sector, now and in the future. These UK Industry Skills Assessments draw upon labour market intelligence, national statistics and primary data collected by SfC&D at national level, research, UK and national policy documents, feedback from service users and employers about skill needs and labour market issues.
The assessment is intended to inform the development of skills policy, our strategy as an SSC and business planning by SfC&D and our partners. The evidence presented in all our UKSA reports will also be used by employers and other stakeholders across the sector to ensure that workforce development helps to build more effective and efficient front line services.
Previous assessments (described as Sector Skills Assessments or Sector Skills Agreeements) - UK Sector Skills Assessment 2009/10 Report
Monitoring supply of, and demand for skills
The social care and development sector's most important asset is its people. Without the right people, with the right qualifications and skills, in the right place at the right time, employers will be unable to deliver current levels of service, far less the service improvements which will be required in the short medium and long term future. Effective workforce planning is an important tool to support stakeholders to maximise resources and build capacity in a structured and planned way.
The SfC&D workforce supply and demand strategy will provide the basis for managing both day to day business needs and changing priorities and practices. It will include longer term thinking about future policy and service pressures and needs, and it will determine what stakeholders need to do now to get workable strategies in place in order to link service, financial and change management priorities with workforce plans. This is under development at the moment.