More than 100,000 Scots in frontline care are undervalued, unappreciated and overlooked, according to their bosses.

A major new poll found the problems lead to high turnover of staff and detract from good care, with one employee claiming they would earn more working in a supermarket.

Scottish Care, which represents independent care homes and commissioned the report, said the workforce was fragile as a result and older workers should be encouraged to seek second careers in the professions.

They added there is too much emphasis is laid on seeing care jobs as suitable for school leavers and entry-level workers and this low status needed to be challenged to tackle low pay and improve working conditions.

Voices from the Front Line includes the views and experiences of a sample of care employees, which Scottish Care said represented the opinions of the nearly 98,000 social care staff and more than 5,000 nurses who work in private care homes and home care for adults.

Speaking ahead of the publication of the report today, Scottish Care chief executive, Ranald Mair, said the aim was to ensure the staff responsible for frontline care are being heard by decision makers and funders.

He added that otherwise they would be doing so without properly understanding the challenges of providing care and support for vulnerable people, including elderly Scots and those with dementia.

Mr Mair said: “We want you to hear the authentic voices of those who are the most important assets in any care organisation – the people – those who day in, day out do the hard, challenging, rewarding and enriching work of caring for others.”

He said the interviews with social care staff showed an 'inspirational' level of care and commitment within the social care workforce, demonstrating that work with some of Scotland's most vulnerable people is a vocation for many.

One worker quoted in the report said: "I could go to Asda and get more pay, but I don't, because I care". Another added: "It's much more difficult to attract the quality of staff than it used to be."

Mr Mair said. "the report also identifies a significant level of fragility within the front line workforce. It has served to underline real concerns that a workforce providing some of the most personal and crucial services is sadly all too often undervalued, unappreciated and overlooked."

He said that with annual staff turnover of 22 per cent in the sector, more effort needed to go onto promoting careers, encouraging people to keep working in care and to recruit a new generation of workers.

The report says career-switchers could be encouraged to bring their skills into the sector, but this would need improvements to pay and career structures in care.

Mr Mair added:“Too little pay, too much paperwork, too little time and poor public support were just some of the ‘detracting factors’ for a significant number of people interviewed. Whilst there may not be a simplistic single solution to the complex and multi-faceted challenges facing the sector, there are things that can be done which involve listening to what the front line workforce has told us about the positives of their role, making these the dominant aspects of the job and working hard to diminish the factors that detract so much from the core purpose of the role.”

The report will form part of a wider call from the independent care sector for better recognition that the workforce is social care’s greatest asset.

It will be published at a conference to be attended by Children and Families Minister Aileen Campbell

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “We welcome this report summarising the views of 40 social care workers, which provides a useful contribution, along with previous similar surveys, into the rewards and challenges of the social care profession.

“We are committed to supporting and protecting our social care services, which is why our 2016/17 draft budget sets out our plans to invest a further £250 million per year through health and social care partnerships.

“This is on top of the £500 million we’re already investing over three years to support integration of health and social care.