The Social Care Workforce in Wales

Project reference: SH74

Application deadline: 10 April 2023

How to apply

*Please note these projects are only available to Home rated applicants*

This studentship offers an outstanding opportunity to work with Social Care Wales to understand the social care workforce using person-level data contained in the SAIL Databank – a unique, multi-sector, integrated administrative system. The PhD project will provide insight on a range of issues related to recruitment, retention, and the inequalities faced by the care workforce in Wales.

The challenges in social care are among the biggest issues facing society. Current figures show 165,000 vacancies in the care workforce, increasing to 500,000 by 2030. We are seeing increasing evidence of a workforce that is experiencing significant pressure, feels undervalued and underpaid, and has extensive difficulties recruiting and retaining staff. Recruitment is therefore one of the biggest challenges currently facing social care, and it is likely to worsen in the medium and long-term. The PhD project will model the social care workforce in Wales using a variety of techniques to inform policy and practice.

Based in the ESRC Centre for Care, University of Sheffield, the successful student will join other researchers studying the social care landscape, and benefit from an exceptional research environment; multidisciplinary supervision; opportunities to engage with non-academic partners across the care sector; and extensive development opportunities for early career scholars. The successful student will also benefit from a range of opportunities with the partners at Social Care Wales, including participation in team activities and away days.

This project would be well suited to a prospective PhD student with solid data analysis skills and a strong interest in social care and evidence-informed policy making. Experience analysing administrative data sources and an interest in engaging people who receive care and support and the public would be an advantage.