While the pandemic has posed many challenges to the care home sector, it has driven public awareness of the work undertaken by those working in social care.
According to a new study, 81 per cent of people say they now have a greater appreciation for those working on the front line.
As such, care home workers rank in the top five careers that people consider to be making a positive difference to society, alongside doctors, non-aged care nurses, firefighters and teachers.
The research, released by Bupa Care Services, also looked at the impact of the pandemic on recruitment, finding that the half of adults now want a job which ‘gives something back’.
Melissa Moore, head of recruitment for Bupa Care Homes said: “This year has really made many think about their role in society and what impact they make on other people’s lives.
“At the same time, it’s shone a light on the people making a difference – especially on the frontlines of health and social care – so it’s no surprise to see people taking stock of their own careers.”
Over half of people have thought about a career change in order to do something more meaningful, with over a third saying they’ve considered it during the past year.
Those polled also revealed what traits their ideal role would have – with a sense of fulfilment favoured by 54 per cent of people.
Elsewhere, 38 per cent wanted to make a difference to others, while 23 per cent agreed that the opportunity to meet new people was key.
Three quarters of people also placed a higher importance on job security as a result of the pandemic.
“While it’s great to see an increased awareness of the sector, it’s still really important that we demonstrate how rewarding careers in adult social care can be,” continued Melissia.
“We need people to know that, not only can they make a difference to people’s lives, but that they’ll have the support to progress their careers in the way that they want.
“Whether that’s through apprenticeships and training, or simply having the flexibility to find shifts that work around their life outside of work – as a sector we need to be shouting about these benefits.”
“Over the last year we’ve welcomed colleagues from all sorts of sectors, but particularly retail, leisure and tourism. From holiday entertainers to hairdressers, we’ve seen a diverse mix of new joiners.
“Their feedback has been brilliant too. People are realising that they can end the day with a smile – not just of their own – but on faces of residents too.”