Report is out: First Annual Personal Assistant Workforce Survey
Thank you to everyone who responded to the first annual Personal Assistant (PA) survey. The online survey, responded to by 912 people across every Scottish local authority area which was an amazing outcome in itself, was created to help inform workforce recruitment campaigns and PA development approaches needed to support PAs in Scotland. This first annual survey will create a baseline for measuring year on year progress but the initial findings are an active component of the work of the Personal Assistants Programme Board.
Our findings provide insight into PA community and suggest they are a largely homogenous group (white, female, with very few under 25 years of age). In fact, the median age of our survey responders was 53 years old and this compares to the median age of the social care workforce at 44 years old. Therefore, different approaches are likely to be needed to promote the role of the PA to improve the diversity of the PA workforce in Scotland.
Encouragingly, survey respondents are positive when it comes to their role as a PA with eight out of ten respondents agreeing ‘a lot’ that they feel proud to be a PA, over three quarters (78%) agreeing ‘a lot’ they love their job, and nine out of ten respondents agreed ‘a lot’ that they trust the person they assist as a PA and their employer trusts them.
There is a need for the development of (and access to) relevant training for PAs with eight out of ten PAs not having received training in the last year and six out of ten PAs not having received training earlier than last year.
One third of respondents worked over 31 hours per week and there was a wide range of pay per hour for PA work. The mean rate of pay for those who are employees was £10.83 (range £8.00 – £19.50) and the mean rate of pay for self-employed was £13.86 (range £9.30 – £22.00).
There are many more quantitative and qualitative findings in the report and we invite you to take a look now.
The Personal Assistants Programme Board who advise Kevin Stewart, MSP, Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care on how best to support the PA workforce said,
“Our plan is to use the evidence from the survey to inform our work in the PA Programme Board and to set our workplan and priorities.”
The PA programme board is chaired by Scottish Government and Self-directed Support Scotland and members include PAs and Independent Support Organisations.
The survey was open for responses between 1st April 2022 until 30th April 2022 and will be repeated annually to better understand the PA workforce, the influence of policy and the work of the PA Programme Board year on year.