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The economic value of the adult social care sector in England

Final Report

Skills for Care is part of the Sector Skills Council, Skills for Care and Development. It is responsible for improving qualifications, training and development for all adult social care workers in England. Skills for Care had identified a need to establish the economic contribution of the activities provided by the sector, measured as the economic value of the sector. However, the adult social care sector in England has historically been difficult to assess in terms of its economic value, as distinct from the children’s workforce and the wider UK workforce.

Skills for Care has recently generated estimates of the number of employers, enterprises and employees in the sector, through its work on the National Minimum Dataset for Adult Social Care (NMDS-SC). ICF GHK was commissioned by Skills for Care to build on this work and to assess the economic significance of the adult social care sector in England to the wider economy. This study was commissioned in support of further policy development towards the sector including consideration of a broader case for investment in skills in the sector.

The purpose of the study was to establish the economic contribution of adult social care services in England (defined in terms consistent with the UK national accounts) and provide estimates of:

■ the annual GDP and GVA generated directly by the adult social care sector in England (including the public sector activities within the sector as well as the independent sector) (direct impact);
■ productivity - GVA per worker for the adult social care sector in England;
■ the supply chain multiplier for the adult social care sector in England (indirect impact);
■ the wage multiplier for the adult social care sector in England (induced impact);