Of the positives that have come out of this strange year (and there have been a few!), the spotlight on the dedication of health care workers has been a big one. Not only acknowledging the obvious – that health care workers are indeed ‘key workers’ – people beyond the sector have learned much more about what goes on within it. The concept, then, of a career in care, will hopefully now mean something different to people than it did this time last year.
This, of course, is music to our ears at Care Matters. Employing some of the estimated 1.5 million people working in adult social care in England, the wider the appreciation of care workers nationally, the better for those that work for and join our team. One disappointing aspect of care work, however, that does remain unchanged, is that not all of the available positions within the sector are being filled – but we hope that is soon set to change as well.
Flexible roles for a modern workforce
As recently as July, it was estimated that around 80,000 vacancies in healthcare existed nationwide. And while many people have unfortunately been forced into looking for new jobs, or even try different careers, many of these positions still remain unfilled.
But with variety, flexibility, and maintaining a good work-life-balance all highly sought after facets of employment, care work offers each of these attractive traits in abundance. In fact, recent research conducted within the sector found that more than 75% of care workers are happy in their job the majority of the time, and more than half highlighted variety as a positive factor in their day to day.
Valued personally and professionally
The same research, though, also identified a key factor in what motivates care workers to provide the very best for the individuals they work with – value. Again, more than three quarters of participants in the research felt valued by the person they supported – while only 3% disagreed.
When combined with the additional focus and respect given to professionals within the sector over the last few months, you would hope that this sense of value continues to grow. A final key point from the study, which is extremely relevant today, was the response of care workers who previously worked in retail, hospitality and catering.
More than 70% of these individuals preferred support work over their previous career. So, if you know someone in the unfortunate position of looking for new work, having been made redundant from those sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, care work could be the ideal career change they need right now.
Learn new skills and achieve qualifications
Of course, a career in care isn’t for everyone. But, just like every other job you can think of, nobody really knows that for certain until they try it. And this is one of the reasons why we provide training, and a CQC Care Certificate qualification as a minimum to new staff. By trying new kinds of work, adapting to different challenges, and achieving practical qualifications, progress within the care sector is a tangible possibility – even for someone starting with zero experience in the role.
And finally, this is one area where care work provides a genuine opportunity to anyone. If you already have a caring, compassionate nature, and enjoy working with people, that’s a great start. There will certainly be a vast range of new skills to learn, and experience to gain (and just in case someone has told you otherwise – it won’t be easy!), but you will effectively be in charge of your own pathway in the sector.
So, if you’re still thinking of a career in care, why not pop us your CV and take that first, tentative step right now? Our latest job vacancies are available here, and you can also call your local Care Matters office to speak to a member of the team. If you’re based in Darlington, call 01325 482075. But if you’re closer to Stockton, the number you need is 01642 450057.
If 2020 has made you consider how much care matters to you – we’re looking forward to helping you find out!