We Care Wales Week, a campaign to attract more young people into care work in Wales, is taking place this week.
More young people are needed to join the care workforce in Wales if it is to have enough workers to meet the challenges of the future, says Social Care Wales; only around 11% of the social care workforce in Wales is under 25, while 32% of employees are over 50.
To highlight the variety of care jobs that are available locally to young people, national recruitment campaign, WeCare Wales, is launching a week of activity from today.
The WeCare Wales campaign challenges people’s perceptions of working in care. While it can be demanding, for the right people it can be a purposeful career, available locally, with the flexibility to gain skills and qualifications while working.
We Care Wales Week will shine a light on what working in social care and childcare is really like. Young people will share their experiences of working in different roles in social care, early years and childcare.
Sue Evans, Chief Executive of Social Care Wales, said, 'It’s vital that more young people take up care as a career to help future-proof the workforce, as a large proportion of current employees are nearing retirement age.
'The Welsh Government’s roll-out of 30 hours’ free childcare for working parents and support for unemployed parents who want to train and gain skills means early years and childcare providers are also likely to need more workers to meet a growth in demand.
'We know from our own research that young people often see working in care as hard work. However, as more of them are living at home with their parents for longer, driving less and looking for jobs with a purpose, a local job that can make a difference could be perfect for them.
'We hope this campaign, showcasing young people who have chosen a rewarding career in social care, early years and childcare, will inspire others to find out more and discover the benefits.'
Alaw Paul, 22, from Porthmadog, is a Youth Support Worker. Discussing the reasons why she chose to work in social care, she said, 'I decided to work in the sector to make sure young people in my community had lots of opportunities to reach their potential. Through my work, I’m able to develop projects that are all about building their confidence and skills whilst benefiting the wider community at the same time.
'Despite only being a few years older than some of the people I work with, I feel they’re able to open up to me about their problems more than they would to an older person. The best thing about my job is that I’m able to see the difference I’m making to people, and where they’re from for myself which is the best form of job satisfaction.'
More information can be found on the WeCare Wales website. You can search job roles, hear employee stories and find information on local employers in your area. To join in the conversation on social media, use #WeCareWeek.