Job experts promote social care careers as industry faces shortage

The coronavirus outbreak has increased the spotlight on social care and it could be a timely moment to consider a career in the sector.

Monday, 20th April 2020, 3:32 pm
Updated Monday, 20th April 2020, 10:53 pm
Picture by PA Wire/PA Images

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was expected that the need for adult social care would continue to grow and by 2025, it could support up to 2.4million jobs.

Recent events have thrown the sector into even greater focus and as one of those key-worker groups in which Jobcentre Plus in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear is seeing a lot of vacancies across the region, it is keen to showcase the options for job-seekers.

Steve McCall, employer engagement manager for the Department for Work and Pensions, said: “Often, when I have met with people who have been made redundant, I am struck by how many are looking for a completely new career and choose the social care sector as a new career option. For most, it is because they are searching for a more personally satisfying challenge.”

Social care provides a whole range of services to support children and families, adults and older people.

New roles are always emerging to meet the changing needs of people who use services, and older people, young adults, people with a physical or a learning disability, those with mental health needs, people with sensory impairment, those with drug and alcohol dependencies and people receiving end-of-life care can all fall under the adult social care banner.

There are also a range of jobs within the sector, which can include occupational therapists, social workers, personal assistants, care workers, community outreach workers, service managers, registered manager, gardeners, drivers, cooks, maintenance workers and laundry staff.

Steve added: “You can find yourself working in someone’s home, in a hospital, hospice, day centre or residential home, and while there are plenty of opportunities for progression to a team leader, manager or director, or goon to complete a social work or nursing degree, for most it is that enormous sense of personal achievement from knowing that your job is helping people that first attracts.”

A starting salary is around £12,000 to £16,000 a year and with experience, qualifications and extra responsibilities, it can rise to between £18,000 and £21,000.

As the sector grows, there will be more jobs and more opportunity to progress to jobs with more responsibility, variety and better pay. The starting salary for a registered manager is around £20,000 to £30,000 and, with several years’ experience, could rise to around £40,000.

For many jobs within the sector, qualifications are not necessary with values and attitudes classed as far more important.

You can see for yourself if you have what it takes by taking this online challenge, which takes around 30 minutes to complete - http://www.aquestionofcare.org.uk/