UK Government

Department of Health: Get more out of life with a career in social care

Press Release   •   Feb 10, 2010 10:09 GMT

A new TV advertising campaign that shows how rewarding a career in social care can be and urges individuals to consider this as a career option, kicks off this week.

Over 1.5 million people are employed across the adult social care sector in England, and as many as 200,000 jobs in the sector are expected to be advertised in the coming year, based on existing trends. The campaign will encourage the next generation of social care workers.

The Department of Health campaign, which runs until March 20, focuses on the difference a career in social care can make through the voices of those who work in the sector.

The recruitment drive comes as a new survey reveals more than a third of people would consider switching into a career in social care, especially in younger age groups.

The TV and print advertising is supported by a series of face-to-face events across the country that encourage people to come along and find out more about the range of jobs available.

In the three broadcast adverts, real-life care workers talk about what makes their job special. Laura, a care worker who supports Joe, who has a learning disability, explains that when she goes home, she is happy to know that she has made a real difference.

Demand for social care is predicted to steadily increase as the population continues to age. In the next 20 years the number of people aged over 65 in England will increase by just under half, and those over 85 will double.

Care Services Minister Phil Hope said:

“Social care has a huge variety of roles that are challenging and rewarding. Jobs range from home care assistants, to work within residential care homes and there is a wide range of positions working with older people, children, families and people with disabilities.

“Careers offer flexible working hours and opportunities for further training and qualifications such as NVQs. With the number of people who may need help with day-to-day tasks set to grow, this is a sector that will offer an increasing number of opportunities for those looking for jobs or a new career.

“Our campaign shows that workers in social care have a big positive impact on the people they work with.”

David Taylor, 23, who works as a care assistant in Mansfield having decided to  leave a career in fashion and move into social care, said:

“Moving into social care is one of the best things I’ve done. Every day is different and I work with an amazing and inspiring team of people. Whilst you do get the odd hard day on the job, every time I go in to work and see the smiles on the faces of the people I help, and knowing they’re waiting for me to come in makes the job worthwhile. It’s given me more confidence in myself and I’ve just completed an NVQ3.”

The Department of Health ran a similar campaign in 2009 which proved very successful. Over 32,000 people contacted the information line to ask about careers in social care, and over 385,000 unique users visited the website. The Department conducted follow-up surveys afterwards with a sample of the callers, and 58% of those asked had taken action to find work in social care since calling the advice line.

To find out more about the social care recruitment campaign, including the full list of events across the country visit www.socialcarecareers.co.uk

Notes to editors

We have a number of case studies available for interview (see details below). Please contact the Department of Health newsdesk on:

0207 210 5221.

Notes to Editors:

According to information published by Skills for Care, there were well over 100,000 vacancies for Care Assistants and Home Carers notified to employment service job centres in the second half of 2009 (http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/research/research_reports/Job_Vacancy_Data.aspx)

Research on attitudes to social care careers was carried out by ICM Omnibus for the Department of Health between 22.01.10 and 25.01.10 amongst 1748 adults in England. More details are available on request.

Those interested in finding out more about a career in Social Care can find more information in a variety of ways:

o        Through the website www.socialcarecareers.co.uk

o        Through a series of regional events. For dates and locations see www.socialcarecareers.co.uk

The Green Paper Shaping the Future of Care Together can be found at www.careandsupport.direct.gov.uk

To encourage social care employers to recruit young people the Department of Health and Department for Work and Pensions have also launched the Care First Careers scheme, which will offer 50,000 jobs in social care for young people aged 18 to 24 who have been unemployed for 6 months or more. Employers are offered a recruitment subsidy of £1,000 plus free pre-employment training for every young person they recruit through the scheme.

To find out more about the Care First Careers scheme and how to get the subsidy visit www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk/carefirstcareers

Case studies:

The following is a small selection of case studies available for interview :

Cheryl, age 21 from Skegness. Works as a Care Assistant

·         Cheryl was inspired to work in a care home after seeing how much her mother enjoyed working in social care. She has been working in the sector for the past two years and has gained two NVQs and is about to start on a third.

·         She says: “I love working with the elderly and have learnt that you can still help people to have fun, no matter how old they are.”

Stuart, age 36 from Manchester. Works as a Support Time and Recovery Worker

·         Previously Stuart worked in IT and found the work to be stressful and un-fulfilling. He developed mental health problems and was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder. As a result of his mental health problems he lost his job in IT management.

·         In trying to piece his life back together he started voluntary work and this lead to him become a support time and recovery worker (his current position). This allows him to give something back to the social care system which had helped him. He 'looks forward to going to work everyday'.

For media enquiries please contact the Department of Health newsdesk on 0207 210 5221

Contacts

NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk