The Forgotten Workforce – Recruiting and Retaining Personal Assistants

A survey by Think Local Act Personal and the Local Government Association reveals that people who draw on care and support are finding it very hard to recruit and retain personal assistants (PAs), and that this worsened during the pandemic period.

There are around 70,000 people in England who employ a personal assistant. PAs play a vital role in supporting people to have choice and control in their lives but are too often ‘forgotten’ within the wider social care workforce.

The online survey – responded to by 995 people - shows that recruitment and retention are getting harder, regardless of the additional pressures imposed by Covid. Low pay and poor terms and conditions are the primary drivers, alongside the effects of the pandemic and a shortage of workers across social care

Key findings

  • 77 per cent of people who had needed to recruit a PA had found it more difficult and two thirds said people were taking jobs with better pay rather than PA jobs
  • 59 per cent think it’s harder to find PAs with the right skills, values or training
  • Low pay, poor terms and conditions and insufficient hours were key factors in PAs leaving.

Read the full survey results Personal Assistant Survey - The Forgotten Workforce