The Trades Union Congress (TUC) called on the government to create 220,000 jobs in adult social care in order to prevent mass unemployment.
In a new report, the TUC has identified a total of 600,000 public jobs, which it claims are either vacant or should be created to help the country recover from the economic cost of the pandemic.
The 600,000 figure includes 220,000 jobs in adult social care.
The report says the pandemic has exposed the ‘disarray in adult social care provision’.
It adds that the Institute for Government estimate there are 120,000 vacancies in social care at any one time, and Skills for Care project an additional 580,000 to 800,000 jobs will be required by 2035 to meet the increases in demand.
The TUC therefore argues the government should recruit 120,000 people to meet the immediate need in adult social care and 100,000 towards longer-term need.
The TUC has also called for a national bargaining body, equivalent to the NHS Social Partnership Forum, ensuring staff, employer and regulator perspectives on policy implementation and implications can be discussed, and good practice is developed.
Last week, the TUC warned annual adult social care spending in England is still £600m lower than in 2010.
‘Working people carried the burden of the pandemic,’ said TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady.
‘They must not bear the brunt of the recession. The government must go all out to protect and create jobs and prevent the misery of mass unemployment.
‘The more people we have in work, the faster the recovery will be. But ministers are sitting on their hands. It’s absurd to leave unfilled vacancies and unmet need in public services when unemployment is rising. Ministers should urgently provide the funding that will unlock existing public services vacancies and create good new jobs.
‘Our plan to invest in good public services jobs will help workers avoid unemployment. It will strengthen the vital services that we all rely on. And it will get people out spending in local business and services. That’s how to drive the recovery forward,’ she added.
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