The impact of the new COVID-19 variant is being felt across the country and additional staff are urgently needed now to support the adult social care workforce where absence rates have more than doubled in recent months due to self-isolation.
The ‘Care for Others. Make a Difference.’ campaign has launched this week using television, digital and radio advertising to drive awareness of long-term career opportunities, highlighting the rewarding, varied and flexible roles available across the care sector to help build a sustainable workforce now and for the future. Almost 1.5 million people work in adult social care and there are many opportunities for those looking to make a difference, even if they have not considered a role in care before.
Candidates don’t necessarily need previous experience as training is provided to help them become valued members of the social care workforce. The new campaign is designed to inspire people with the right values – including those with transferable skills from other sectors – to recognise the potential of a career in adult social care.
People can find out more about a long-term career in social care and search for jobs in their area by visiting www.everydayisdifferent.com which also has directions to register their interest in short-term opportunities.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I want to thank carers for all they do to look after our loved ones. Throughout this pandemic, they have gone above and beyond to protect our parents and grandparents, and to provide them with the support and care they need and we would be truly lost without them.
“This exceptional career choice is tough but rewarding, and I would urge anyone who is thinking of a career in care to come forward and join this heroic workforce.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are doing everything we can to support the adult social care sector throughout this pandemic and our social care workforce have done an incredible job of helping the most vulnerable in society.
“I am urging the public – whether you are on furlough, a job-seeker, or looking for a new career – to consider working in care. We need short term support while we face the pandemic and to continue to recruit the right people, with the right values, now and into the future.”
“Great progress has been made on offering vaccines to all older care home residents and care home staff and this recruitment drive will help us continue to fight this terrible virus.”
Minister for Care Helen Whately said: “The social care sector has tirelessly worked around the clock to protect those they support, but they are not invincible, and the effects of the new variant mean we urgently need short term help to continue to care for everyone who needs it.
“Working in adult social care can be challenging and rewarding, and there are many opportunities to make a real difference to people’s lives every day. We are looking for people with the right values to care for and support people who need it most and to increase the overall size of the workforce for the future.
“I would ask anyone interested to visit www.everydayisdifferent.com to consider their options and how they might be able to help.”
Tim Hearson, who already works in the adult social care sector as a Senior Autism Practitioner from Bedfordshire, said: “I’ve been working in care for four-and-a-half years. I originally trained to be a surveyor but I felt something was missing and it didn’t give me the social interaction I was after so I made the decision to go into adult social care and I’ve never looked back.
“I wake up every morning and go to work knowing I’m going to be making a difference to someone’s life, and there’s nothing more rewarding than that.
“Seeing the people I care for progress every day is such a wonderful feeling and I always leave work with a smile on my face. For anyone considering a role in adult social care, go for it.”
Free-to-access expert advice and templates are available to support social care organisation’s recruitment efforts from the Every Day is Different website. Also available are campaign assets, a badging device to enable organisations to co-brand their materials. In order to maximise interaction, a special template has been created so that success stories can be shared.
Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE, Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, said: “I know from my own experience how wonderful and rewarding a career in social care can be.
“I have worked with some incredible people and by joining the adult social care sector you will meet incredible people and improve lives – including your own.
“We need people who care about others to come forward and seize these opportunities.”
Sir David Pearson, Chair of the Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Task Force said: “Since starting as a social worker in Nottingham in the early 80s, I have been fortunate to work with great teams, services and leaders in healthcare.
“Social care works as a crucial springboard for wellbeing and the commitment and care of the people who work within it are the most important ingredients for success.
“Being part of this has been a privilege and a pleasure and the ‘Care for Others. Make a difference’ national campaign is a great chance for others to get as much out of a career in adult social care as I have.”
Joint Chief Social Worker for Adults, Mark Harvey and Fran Leddra said: “We have both worked in social care all our lives. It is a fantastic profession and a career that we have never regretted being a part of. The pandemic has spotlighted the profession and shown how critical and important it is. We are in awe of the sheer dedication, commitment and professionalism that the workforce continues to show, making a difference to people’s lives every single day.
“We hope that this campaign inspires you to join our skilled and talented workforce and help to support the lives of people across the country now and far beyond the pandemic”
For the short-term scheme, for individuals who have registered their interest online, DHSC will pass their registration details onto their local authority and local adult social care service providers. Care providers will then contact candidates directly. Further information on access to training, DBS checks and vaccines will be provided when candidates are contacted.
Training, including in infection prevention controls and use of PPE, will be provided as well as vaccinations in line with key worker status and the priority vaccine scheme.
The government has already provided £120million to help local authorities support care providers to fill staffing gaps caused by the pandemic, which was announced in January.
The Department of Health and Social Care is encouraging people to visit everydayisdifferent.com which provides everything they will need to research a career in adult social care. Potential candidates can also search for social care jobs near them through DWP ‘Find a Job’.