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Project

The young workforce in the health and social care sectors

The King’s Fund was commissioned by the Prince’s Trust to undertake exploratory research into the young workforce (those aged between 16 and 30 years old) in health and care.

There is a lack of research evidence about young people who are employed by the NHS or in the adult social care sector, and the aim of this project was to understand the opportunities and challenges for young people’s participation in the health and care workforce.

Project content

What we did

This work was carried out through:

  • a review of the available research evidence on young people employed in the health and social care sectors

  • analysis of publicly available data on young people employed in NHS or adult social care roles

  • interviews with 26 stakeholders regarding how young people feature in the workforce, the opportunities and challenges for them and how more young people could be recruited and encouraged to develop careers in health or social care. These interview participants included representatives from the Department of Health and Social Care, various NHS arm’s length bodies, Skills for Care and social care providers.

Our analysis

Our high-level analysis is presented in this PowerPoint slide pack, which is dated September 2021.

Download the PowerPoint: Young people in the health and social care workforce: exploratory research

Notes on the methodology

Our analysis of workforce data from NHS Digital and Skills for Care are shown in the PowerPoint slides.

We have provided age breakdowns where available in the data.

The analysis focuses on:

  • adult social care and NHS primary, acute, mental health and community services. These constitute a large part of the health and care sector and have relatively good data availability from NHS Digital and Skills for Care

  • people aged 30 and under, including the number of people employed and the roles they are working in. The age bands available in each dataset are slightly different, leading to slightly different age breakdowns in some of the charts provided.

Interviews were carried out between June and August 2021. This does not provide a representative sample of the views of the three million staff in the health and care system, however they do offer valuable insight and raise interesting questions for the health and social care sector.

Project team