Webb A & McQuaid R (2020) Recruitment and workforce development challenges in low-status sectors with high labour demand – childcare work. In: CIPD Applied Research Conference 2020, Dublin City University Business School, 22.01.2020-23.01.2020. Wimbledon: CIPD. https://www.cipd.co.uk/learn/events-networks/applied-research-conference/2020-papers
Even before the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, UK employers in many organisations and industry sectors were experiencing difficulties in attracting, recruiting and retaining a skilled and/or sufficiently qualified workforce. This is particularly so in areas such as social and childcare. Regardless of whether the focus is on profit or non-profit organisations, the recruitment and retention of staff remains a primary human resource challenge. The Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) sector in Scotland is currently undergoing a significant policy-driven expansion, with an estimated 20,000 new jobs needed to deliver the increase in provision promised by the Scottish Government (Audit Scotland 2018).
This paper, firstly, describes the key challenges impacting recruitment and retention in the ELC. Secondly, it presents key considerations for overcoming the recruitment difficulties in the ELC by improving the sector’s professional status and its overall employment attractiveness. More widely, these considerations might be useful for addressing recruitment challenges in other sectors/workplaces with similar low reputation but high workforce demands.