Recruitment and workforce development challenges in low-status sectors with high labour demand – childcare work

Aleksandra Webb, Ronald McQuaid

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCIPD Applied Research Conference Proceedings
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes
EventCIPD Applied Research Conference 2020: The Shifting Landscape of Work and Working Lives - Dublin City University Business School, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 22 Jan 202023 Jan 2020


ConferenceCIPD Applied Research Conference 2020
Internet address


  • recruitment
  • skills
  • ELC
  • low status sectors
  • workforce development


Dive into the research topics of 'Recruitment and workforce development challenges in low-status sectors with high labour demand – childcare work'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this