Government’s care sector recruitment drive ‘long overdue’

Colchester-based Care UK's head of resourcing Victoria Cole Picture: CARE UK

Colchester-based Care UK's head of resourcing Victoria Cole Picture: CARE UK - Credit: Archant

A government campaign to encourage more people into the tens of thousands of vacancies in the adult social care sector is ‘long overdue’, a Colchester-based care group says.

Care UK has welcomed the launch of a new national recruitment drive, the Every Day Is Different campaign, to help fill 110,000 vacancies in the sector – but warned it needed to attract the ‘right’ candidates for the job.

Head of resourcing Victoria Cole 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.

MORE – Wind farm projects off Suffolk coast ‘should not be achieved at any cost’, councils warn“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.”

Almost 1.5m people currently 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-plus.

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“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,” said Ms Cole.

“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.”

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Ms Cole said her company went beyond sector standards, paying the National Living Wage to apprentices and encouraging them with ongoing training, supported by experienced colleagues.

“We hope this will attract those who are smart and ambitious to consider a career pathway in social care as an alternative to, or following, university,” she said.

The Department of Health and Social Care campaign also aims to highlight the range of job roles available in the care sector.

“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,” said Ms Cole.

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