A guest blog from Simon Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org), who supports our micro-enterprise members:
A reduction in the local authority workforce has not seen all these people disappear from the care and support workforce. Some join established agencies or providers but many have looked at their skills, considered their frustrations with former work and seen new opportunities to start their own micro-enterprise services.
Skills for Care’s report from last year’s “State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England”, highlights some shifts in the workforce. The report shows the reduction of the local authority workforce (-9.3%) with a converse increase in Direct Payment employers (+15.8%) and the independent sector (+3.1%).
The report didn’t include statistics on micro-enterprise providers, but we know that some of the growth in micro-enterprises is through former local authority workers starting their own enterprises. Other enterprises are started by people entering social care for the first time, including some disabled and older people themselves starting their own micro-enterprises. These micro-entrepreneurs cover many areas, from residential support, services delivered in the home, help to access the community and many others which defy characterisation. Over 150 enterprises are now Shared Lives Plus members, benefitting from support, advice, insurance and a voice, whilst our sister organisation, Community Catalysts, supports areas to become micro-friendly and helps enterprises in the start-up phase.
We are working closely with our very supportive colleagues at Skills for Care to look at how to include self-employed providers in national workforce information gathering. Getting more information about the people working in micro-enterprises will help us to ensure that their work is considered by policy makers and workforce planners.
Hence this very short survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SfC_SelfEmployment2013
If you know of any self-employed providers, please ask them to take part and ensure their voice is heard too. If you want to talk to us more about our micro enterprise services or our work informing policy do get in touch.