While many would say it’s always a good time to start a career in social care because it’s a rewarding job in which you can make real differences to people’s lives, now is a particularly good time for many reasons.
It’s true that the social care sector has always had a bit of an image problem, due to the relatively low pay, long hours and perceived low status of the job.
The covid-19 pandemic has shone a new light on the social care sector
The perception of social care being low-skilled and of low status is entirely wrong, of course, but before the pandemic, few people would have stopped to think about this or question it.
The pandemic, however, has focused people’s attention on the sector and the invaluable work that carers do within society. Social care workers are now receiving the recognition they’ve deserved for a long time as it’s become clear how vital a role they perform in looking after the most vulnerable members of society.
Care workers are now seen as being on a par with NHS workers and there’s no longer any doubt that they’re skilled, highly-motivated and compassionate keyworkers. Social carers have risked their lives and worked almost superhuman hours during the pandemic to deliver services to the people who need it the most. As a result of these efforts, social care jobs have risen in status and many people are thinking of either entering the sector or taking their existing training further.
The social care sector needs new recruits
As rewarding as it is, social care can have a high turnover rate and many providers have found it difficult to fill all of their positions in recent years. This has possibly been down to the fact that under-staffing has led to carers doing more than their fair share of work and becoming burned out.
Another factor that’s led to staff shortages is the fact that many care workers have left the UK in recent years to return home. Around 20% of the UK’s care workers are from overseas, including from elsewhere in Europe and from Commonwealth countries. As the UK government is set to tighten up immigration rules from 2021, care providers are increasingly going to be looking for homegrown staff members.
The sector is growing rapidly
According to a recent study by the Care Association Alliance, the UK’s care sector needs to recruit at least 128,000 new workers each year between now and 2030. This makes for a total of 1.3 million new carers by the start of the next decade and every one will be needed to cater to the expected increase in demand.
With lots of people who were working in the hospitality and travel sector before the coronavirus pandemic being furloughed or out of jobs now, an entire new pool of talent is available to the health and social care.
It’s a great time to start a career in social care
The perception of jobs in health and social care, the possibilities for advancement and the way they’re all valued has changed for the better in recent months. If you’re thinking of entering the care sector, or if you’re already in it and you’re looking for more, then now is the best time that there’s been for years.