JUST two in every five social care workers employed by Wokingham Borough Council have a relevant social care qualification.

And Wokingham’s social care workers have an average of 7.8 years working in the industry - the lowest rate in the south east of England.

The figures come from this year’s assessment of more than 150 local authorities by expert social care insight website Skills For Care.

The site examines how the council’s social care workforce is made up and stats released showed 67 per cent of the workforce is British, with figures from last year indicating that 13 per cent were from the European Union.

One in five social care workers is employed on a zero-hours contract and just over half of the council’s social care staff is on a full-time contract.

The council has a 6 per cent vacancy rate, which is down 1.7 per cent from last year.

An estimated 29,000 sick days were lost last year after social care staff had a sickness rate of 7.3 per cent.

The council’s social care provider Optalis was celebrating, however, after three of its staff were nominated for prestigious awards at the Great British Care Awards.

Staff from Maidenhead and Windsor were chosen as some of the best in the categories of The Care Innovator Award, Home Care Team Award and The Front-line Leaders Award.

Martin Farrow, Optalis’ Chief Executive Officer, commented: “I am very proud of the extraordinary work that the Optalis teams carry out every day to ensure our customers receive the best care possible.

“These individuals make an incredible difference to the lives of those in their respective communities and they are certainly worthy of the award nominations. I’m delighted that they have been recognised for their hard work and dedication to the sector.”

None of the nominees won in the categories they were selected for at an event that was attended by more than 300 people.