Care and support workers – more needed
The social care sector is facing some real challenges, particularly with getting enough high quality care and support workers and persuading people to choose a career in care and support. A 1.6 million increase in over 75s by 2022 means that action is essentail before it is too late. This increase in the elderly has the knock on effect of causing a heightened need in the number of care workers required. Skills for Care projects that the number of extra care and support jobs required will be 1 million more by 2025. Without this increase in staff numbers the sector will fall apart. There is also an anticipated increase in the number of under 14 year olds, increasing the requirement for a workforce to support children and young people. This demonstrates how the stretch on the social care sector is set to continue.
Apprenticeships in care and support
The use of apprenticeship is a very promising way to tackle staff shortages. Social Care apprenticeships have overtaken business administration apprenticeships in terms of the numbers selecting each route. Approximately 70,000 apprenticeships in social care were undertaken in 2013/14, up 292% since 2009/10. This is highly encouraging, and is one way of promoting social care as a career to school leavers – an age group widely cited as being under represented in the sector. This is a hugely exciting time in social care, with the promotion and diversification of a workforce to meet both the demand and needs of service-users.
There are 30 different apprenticeships available at 3 different entry levels. Furthermore there are 27 different job roles within social care (according to Skills for Care). This is a diverse sector with something to offer in the way of a career to most people. Therefore it needs pushing and showing as an option from an early age, to ensure it is considered a realistic possibility, not just an after thought.
Values based recruitment
One resounding problem in care recruitment, is how can we ensure the right quality candidates are becoming care workers? And how can we make sure the performance of those selected is consistently high? Moreover, how do we know they won’t just leave the sector within weeks of being trained? Read our article on values based recruitment to learn more about how recruitment processes are addressing this.