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Annual PA Workforce Survey – Analysis Underway

June 3, 2022

Following meetings to update on the first Annual PA Workforce Survey and fairly imminent production of a preliminary report and analysis, below is an outline of existing thoughts on themes and a link to the SDS Forum for discussion on these and any ideas you have about the analysis and purpose of this data plus any sources of existing data draw comparison. We’re using a public forum because PA Programme Board work that this ties into is completely transparent and it might be useful to see some discussion rather than just have our team filter ideas.

The full survey questions and answers available to the respondents can be found here (you can also see the total number of responses for each question – no questions was mandatory) The questions list was prioritised and edited down to what we thought would get traction from a fairly long list of suggestions. Demographic questions were taken from Fife Centre for Equalities work, using the principle that if you don’t ask you won’t know who is underrepresented!

To kick things off we’ve had a suggestion that may be able to compare some social service sector workforce data via SSSC where we can see for example that our median age of PA respondents is significantly older (53 vs 45, the mode is 57!) This may have implications for recruitment, and monitoring age year on year, perhaps across Local Authority areas, might tell us if PA employers are able to access wider choice .

In looking at Qualitative data, our researcher Dianne is creating theming the responses and an example of this is question 2 “What do you like most about being a Personal Assistant?”

the themes so far are: financial motivations; enable independent living; relational motivations; positive relationship with their employer; flexibility; working hours; variety of tasks; less bureaucracy; and, contributing towards local community (that could be PA or assisting the employer/contractor to do so).

Your discussion on any or all of this would be gratefully received

Please pick up the discussion on this link

https://forum.sdsscotland.org.uk/t/ideas-for-annual-pa-survey-analysis/

 

Below are Researcher suggestions we are currently working to with a note that those who contributed questions to the survey may still need to give their thoughts on how their questions might be analysed.

First off I thought the following would be useful data as contextual totals:

  • Overall total number of respondents who completed and who started but didn’t complete;
  • Total for each ethnicity;
  • Age;
  • Disability yes & no;
  • Totals for each impairment category;
  • Totals for trans yes & no;
  • Totals for each trans options;
  • Pregnancy/recently given birth yes & no;
  • Breakdown by religion;
  • Breakdown by sex;
  • Same for gender;
  • Sexual orientation;
  • Breakdown of different situations (education/employment);
  • ‘other’ for situation (will need coded);
  • Yes & no whether in past year feel Pas are more valued/recognised;
  • Who do you provide PA support for;
  • What they did before becoming a PA (this will need to be coded);
  • Work elsewhere (will need to be coded);
  • Totals for each LA area they work in;
  • Employment status;
  • Contract type;
  • Totals for hour of pay for employed Pas;
  • Total of hours for self employed Pas;
  • How you had training in the last year;
  • Breakdown of the different types of training;
  • Other types of training (will need coded);

CROSS-TAB SUGGESTIONS

Theme 1 ( Other caring responsibilities Vs none)

Part3: care responsibilities yes & no, the types of caring responsibilities and ‘other’ responses; I thought might be interesting to look at

  • sex for these (males V females etc);
  • Identify as having a disability yes & no;
  • Age (do older people have more caring roles?);
  • Part2 might be interesting to link to type of employment, contract type, hourly rate for employed/sel employed to see if differences for those involved with other caring responsibilities and those who aren’t.
  • Part1 might be interesting to link to how they heard about current PA work to see if those with caring responsibilities (so those familiar with the sector perhaps more) draw upon different sources than those who have no caring responsibilities (who might be newer to the sector);
  • Part1 also what they did before becoming a PA. Would be interesting to see what those without care responsibilities did compared to those who do.
  • Part1 how would you describe your mental health etc. This might be interesting to compare those with caring responsibilities and those without – is one group more stressed?
  • Part1 the statements about loving their job etc. Might be interesting to see if this various for those with caring responsibilities and those without.
  • Part1 what they most like about being a PA. Does this differ if they have caring responsibilities or not?

Part1 see themselves working as a PA in the future. Does this differ is have caring responsibility or not?

  • Part1 I want to stop type statements. Do these responses differ if have caring responsibilities or not?

Theme 2 (Male Vs Female at birth)

  • Part1 might be interesting to look at responses from males/females in relation to what they like best about being a PA, for each of the following questions until you hit the training statements (didn’t feel that would be that useful). Then, how much they love their job, mental health in past 7 days, who they provide support for, what they did before becoming a PA, if they have another job, how they found out about their job and local authority breakdown by sex (wondering if any Las stand out for employing males for example and if yes, what’s working well there).
  • Part 2 all of these questions might throw up interesting comparisons of responses between males and females, what do you think?
  • Part 3 I’m anticipating a much lower number of male respondents. However, it might still be interesting to look at number of males/females with a disability, breakdown by ethnicity and age.

Theme 3 (age)

  • Part1 might be interesting to look at responses broke down by age (perhaps make this age-bands to make comparison between younger/older ranges easier?) in relation to what they like best about being a PA, then for each question until you hit if they had problems who would they go to (didn’t feel that would be that useful?). Then, from who they provide support for to the end of part1.
  • Part 2 all of these questions might throw up interesting comparisons of responses between the different age ranges (younger ages, middle age and oolder age groups, what do you think?

Theme 4 (local authority area)

  • Part1 might be interesting to see the LA breakdown of those who felt proud to be a PA etc and then, for each of the following questions for the rest of that section.
  • Part2 all of this section might be interesting to breakdown by local authority area?

Theme 5 (part 2 PA status)

  • Part1 might be interesting to comparisons between the employment status and the questions from part1 starting from question 2 about working with only that person onwards. What do you think?
  • Part2 might be interesting to look at the source of funding brokendown by employment status and then, comparisons for the rest of that section. What do you think?

Theme 6 (how many hours of PA work a week they do)

Part1 might be interesting to look at the breakdown of average hours and compare responses for all questions in section 1 excluding:

  • Agree Pas more recognised/valued;
  • If they had problems which would they try;
  • What did they do before becoming a PA.

Note: the above cross-tabs are simple ones and if we find interesting results coming up, we could perhaps try adding in additional comparisons. For example, If respondents tend to be female and in the older age ranges, are they likely to be responsible for other care…that type of thing.

 

Notable Replies

  1. To kick things off we’ve had a suggestion that may be able to compare some social service sector workforce data via SSSC where we can see for example that our median age of PA respondents is significantly older (53 vs 45, the mode is 57!)

  2. This may have implications for recruitment and monitoring age year on year, perhaps across Local Authority areas, and could tell us if younger people are coming in to the role and if PA employers are able to benefit from wider choice of employee values/interests and experience.

  3. Hi Jeremy

    I think the ideas you have suggested sound great - being able to look at the age of people coming into the sector to work will be interesting which will help gear communications to different age groups. I also think this is valuable to perhaps ensure that PA Employers expectations are real and are met.

    It will be really interesting to know if some questions have been answered negatively perhaps due to lack of training or feeling valued (for example) due to covid restrictions or not. We will obviously see that in future years.

  4. Thanks Lyn, we should see some movement over time between training had in the last year and any other training - I’ll ask @julia to take a look. Big thanks.

Continue the discussion at forum.sdsscotland.org.uk

Participants