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Monday, 24 June 2024

CEO highlights the benefits of working in social care, but calls on the Government to go a step further

Up until the end of March, the Government is running its annual recruitment campaign, Made with Care. Through campaign advertising, they are hoping to highlight opportunities in care and encourage people across England to join the adult social care workforce.

But, does this campaign truly tackle the issues at the heart of the recruitment problem in the social care sector? Kirsty Matthews, CEO of the national learning disability charity, Hft, has responded to this:

She said:

“The Government’s Made with Care campaign is a welcome opportunity to raise awareness of the wide range of vacancies and career opportunities in our sector. The Government’s reach enables messaging to go even further, extending into demographics that may previously have not been aware of opportunities within the sector. This is vitally important to help fill the worrying level of vacancies across essential social care services.

“Highlighting the positive side of working in social care is key. There are undeniably so many benefits to working in social care and evidence from the Resolution Foundation supports that, compared to other low-paid jobs, working in social care has a higher degree of job satisfaction.

“I can also speak from personal experience that having the privilege to engage with and influence positive change for adults with learning disabilities on a daily basis is remarkably rewarding.”

Ms Matthews is certainly not alone in her sentiment; two staff members at Hft recently spoke about their own experiences of working in social care.

Sam Toms, from Market Harborough, shared his journey from a musician to a support worker and said:

“Seeing the people we support respond to greater freedom and control is undoubtedly worth it. You’ll only truly understand how rewarding it can be if you do it yourself.”

Similarly, Ian Earey, Head of Care and Support for Hft’s east region, spoke on the career progression opportunities social care has afforded him, by saying:

“I would absolutely encourage anyone looking for work to consider social care. There are so many opportunities available for personal growth in the future. This, alongside making a difference to the people we support, makes it all incredibly rewarding.”

Reiterating the words of the Minister for Care, Helen Whately, from the Made with Care press release, Ms Matthews continued:

“People who choose to work in social care and the learning disability sector perform a vital role in supporting people to live their best lives as independently as possible.

“However, current funding just doesn’t accurately reflect the complexity and skill of work in our sector. A recent report, Unfair To Care, provided yet further evidence of the profound need for social care funding to appropriately reflect the true cost of delivering quality care and support.

“Our own Sector Pulse Check research, which is due to be updated next month, showed that 94% of providers said low pay was the biggest barrier to recruitment. This is exactly why the Government’s recruitment campaign will fall short without sufficient funding and will fail to fill the number of vacancies required to overcome the extensive recruitment problem.

“Therefore, we are calling on the Government to take decisive steps to ensure local authorities receive sufficient funding to pay providers the true cost of care in the long term, including increased wages for our invaluable staff.”

“Aiming to tackle the recruitment issue is one thing but, without getting to the issues that are truly at the heart of this, the sustainability of our sector is in jeopardy and it is likely we will see little meaningful change.”

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