Young people would consider social care career

October 21, 2019

Phase two of the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC’s) recruitment campaign has revealed that younger people in England aged 18-34 are the most likely to consider applying for a job in adult social care. The When you care, every day makes a difference adult social care campaign aims to attract people with the right values to help fill the 122,000 vacancies across the sector to support some of the most vulnerable in society.

New figures also show:

  • Over half of people aged 18-34 would consider changing jobs for one helping other people.
  • 49% of people believe that a job offering fulfilment would be one of the top qualities they would look for in a role.
  • Next phase of Government’s adult social care recruitment campaign launched to fill thousands of vacancies

The interest from younger people who will form the next generation of adult social care workers has been welcomed. The average age of those working in the sector is 45 years old, and around 385,000 jobs are held by people aged 55 years old who are likely to retire in the next ten years.

The campaign will continue to target 20-39 year olds, to help capitalise on interest and raise awareness of the variety, benefits and progression offered by a career in care.

Minister for Care, Caroline Dinenage said:

‘A career in adult social care offers the rewarding opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in society– a sentiment 96% of current care workers on the ground agree with.

‘We have over a million brilliant people working in the sector, but we urgently need new talent to ensure we can continue to provide support for those who need it.

‘I hope our ‘When you care, every day makes a difference’ campaign will draw more people with the right values to forge fulfilling careers and help them realise how diverse, worthwhile and often flexible jobs in social care can be. I urge anyone considering a career in care to apply today.’

The survey of 2,020 adults shows:

  • 64% of 18-34 year olds would consider a career in adult social care.
  • Over half of people aged 18-24 (57%) and 25-34 (56%) would consider changing career for a job that helps or supports others.
  • More than one in ten people aged 18-24 (13%) and 25-34 (14%) are dissatisfied with their current job.
  • 59 would consider moving roles to a job which offers more personal fulfilment.
  • 65% of parents with dependent children would consider a role in adult social care.

Nearly 1.5 million people work in the sector, but an ageing population means that social care workers are more in demand than ever before, with an additional 580,000 workers needed by 2035.

The campaign was launched in February aiming to attract new people with the right values to the sector and increase interest in adult social care as a vocation.

The first phase of the campaign has already generated a 14% increase in clicks on the apply button for care-related roles on DWP Find a Job and 97% more searches for jobs containing ‘care’ or ‘care worker’ during the campaign period. One in four (26%) care employers surveyed after the first phase saw an increase in either enquiries, applications, interviews or vacancies filled. Care work requires specialist skills and on the job training is provided with opportunities to gain qualifications and progress within the sector. Roles are varied and include working with adults of all ages in a variety of locations and with different needs, for example:

  • A care or nursing home as a care worker.
  • Your local community as an activities co-ordinator.
  • A hospital as an occupational therapist.
  • Someone’s home as a personal assistant.

Skills for Care Interim CEO, Andy Tilden, said:

'With only 19% of our workforce currently aged under 30 this campaign is very timely, especially as we know we need to fill around 122,000 job vacancies across our sector on any given day.

'I’m really encouraged by this survey that shows young people would seriously consider a career in adult social care that we know offers huge personal and professional rewards. I would encourage anyone who thinks they have the right values to make a real difference in their community to take a look at the many different job roles available and see which would best suit their talents.'

Julie Ogley, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said:

'People of any age can work in social care and make a real difference to the lives of so many who need it.

'There’s a wealth of highly rewarding career opportunities for everyone, from providing vital care and support as a care worker or personal assistant or to roles in the local community and beyond with the opportunity to go further. There are careers to be had in social care – our own members, all of whom are Directors, and their direct line reports, are a prime example of this.

'We want to see a social care workforce that is diverse and well representative of our society and we hope that this campaign we help us to achieve that.'

There are thousands of flexible jobs in the sector including over 600,000 people working part time, allowing people to juggle studying, family and personal lives with their workload. Many parents are already starting to realise the benefits of working in adult social care with 65% of those with dependent children at home saying they would consider such a role.

The campaign will put a spotlight on the range and variety of social care roles available in the sector. This will include mental health and complex needs, domiciliary care, rural care opportunities, individual employers and personal assistants, shared lives schemes and supporting people with learning disabilities. It will also highlight the potential for progression in a career in care, with on the job training and the chance to gain new qualifications and skills.

Adult social care roles are all about offering personal and practical support to help people live independently, from adults with disabilities to older people or those with mental or physical conditions.

A day in the life of a carer is hugely varied, and roles can include anything from supporting people to participate in social activities in the community to enabling someone to go to work every day and assist with personal care such as getting dressed. Workers can be based in the community, in care homes, hospitals or people’s homes.


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