Research warns social care faces succession challenge in next decade

Social care could face a succession challenge in the next 10 years if young talent is not encouraged into and promoted within the industry, finds new data.

Analysis of social care businesses across England and Wales shows 68% of people with significant control are over the age of 50, with 40% over the age of 60.

The data – compiled by Tristone Healthcare as part of its white paper Succession: the age-old question – has revealed that the average age of a person with significant control in the sector is 54, with 68% of owners being male.

woman in white button up shirt and blue stethoscope

Yannis Loucopoulos, CEO of Tristone Healthcare, said: ‘For some time, social care has faced a much-publicised skills problem and struggled to attract the best young talent into the industry. With a significant number of social care businesses – in both adult and children’s services – being led by people over the age of 50, and nearly half of businesses having a majority ownership structure, it’s clear there is a heavy reliance on a small number of people within each business who may be reaching, or at least thinking about retirement.

‘Traditionally driven by committed and longstanding individuals, who have great passion for supporting and transforming the lives of vulnerable and looked-after adults and children, it’s essential that directors protect the culture and ethos that defines their business, by empowering people at all levels to become future leaders and carefully consider succession in a timely way.’

The research of Companies House data shows that the average age of a social care business is 13, with 66% incorporated more than 10 years ago and nearly a quarter (23%) run by families.

According to the figures, 28% of businesses have changed the structure of their business to a limited holding company, with more than half of those companies (53%) set up in 2016 to coincide with the introduction of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, which is aimed at increasing transparency around who controls a business.

Loucopoulos said: ‘The introduction of new UK company law clearly triggered a response from a certain number of social care businesses, which has naturally led to diversification in their ownership model and a move away from a reliance on one person. However, it’s essential for all established businesses to proactively address ownership and consider the options available to them before they become limited.’



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