The Government has launched a new national recruitment campaign to help fill the 110,000 vacancies in the adult social care sector and a Care UK recruitment expert hopes it will do much to attract the brightest and the best.
The Every Day Is Different campaign aims to show how rewarding social care careers can be, as 96 per cent of care professionals feel their work makes a difference.
Victoria Cole, Care UK’s Head of Resourcing, said: “This kind of campaign is long overdue. Like many providers we’ve been doing our best to share this view, but we can never have the impact that a national, Government-backed campaign will be able to achieve. We welcome the status the campaign will afford to jobs in the sector and we hope it will show young people and career changers that caring is not just emotionally rewarding: it is a vocation with a genuine career path with plenty of opportunities for progression.
“Those of us who work in social care know the value of what we do, but we also know that, with an ageing population, we need more people to join us.”
Currently, almost 1.5 million people work in the sector, but it is predicted an additional 650,000 workers will be needed by 2035 to keep pace with the rising numbers of people aged 65 and over.
Victoria said: “We hope the campaign will not just focus on ‘bringing in the numbers’ but that it will also strive to inspire candidates with the right values. At Care UK we firmly believe that we can give people who have a genuine interest and commitment in supporting others the necessary skills, but you cannot train people to be empathetic and caring – and these are the traits of great carers that we really value.”
The Department of Health and Social Care campaign also sets out to highlight the range of job roles available in the care sector. Victoria said: “While the initial focus is on direct care roles, such as care assistants, there are a growing range of roles available, which tap into a wider skills base and which could attract people who may never have considered a future in social care.”
Care UK has created the role of lifestyle coordinator, which goes beyond the remit of the traditional activities coordinator. Victoria said: “Our coordinators not only create events and activities, they also help maintain life-skills, rekindle interests old and new and make dreams come true. Our wishing tree scheme has seen residents meet the Pope, go flying, have their first driving lesson and have a close encounter with penguins.
“At one home we have an art studio and an artist in residence, to encourage residents to communicate in whatever medium speaks to them.”