Is now the right time to work in social care?

Now is the time to consider a career in social care. A bold statement, but is it true?

To begin to explain why you should consider care as an option, we need a quick reminder of how the sector has been traditionally regarded… the care sector has, historically, been seen as the ‘easy’ option: easy to get into and easy to perform. We have heard anecdotes of people having an interview at 9am in the morning and starting work that same day.

These days, whilst it is true there still some care company’s taking the same approach, the majority, like Inchwater, have started the revolution in how the role is perceived. High levels of training and support, good pay and the ability for any new recruit to design their own career in a way that suits their lifestyle and preferences.

Do you want to remain at the coal-face, providing hands-on care to clients you love? Excellent, you can do that, it’s your choice.

If, however, you want to develop your career and take leaps of faith in your own abilities, skills and knowledge, the support is there. In our company, we have direct experience of this, with our current Care Manager rising through the ranks from probationer, to caregiver, to where she is now: level 5 qualified and, let’s be honest, very good at her job. We have others rising swiftly through the ranks who wish to progress their careers, pay and responsibilities.

The drive to professionalise the role of the care worker has been long and winding, but the time is here, now:

  • Vocational qualifications as well as academic routes have been introduced and are working well.
  • It seems likely that people working in the care sector in England will, like other professionals, be required to register with the Health & Care Professions Council if they wish to provide care. Professional registration adds credibility to everyone working in care.
  • Standards of pay have increased and, depending on which company you apply to, are well above the national minimum. As an example, most entry point wages are equal to, or higher, than the equivalent NHS pay grade, and this will continue to be the case.
  • The government has, through the COVID crisis, become increasingly aware of the importance of social care. If there is no capacity for community-based care, the hospitals cannot discharge. The need is projected to increase by half a million care jobs by 2035.

    There are literally hundreds of thousands of social care jobs available – right now. This means anyone considering working in care has the pick of opportunities, right for them. Some care employers focus on attractive hourly rates, some on improving the care worker experience and some on additional benefits. Whichever company you consider, you should choose the one that gives you the ability to get back out of it more than you put in – that feeling that you are respected, valued and supported.

    What kind of person can provide care? If you are reading this, the chances are, you are kind of person. Our staff come from a wide variety of backgrounds and roles: people who have raised a family and have sought a role they believe in; people from professional backgrounds who wanted a change; college-leavers who weren’t sure quite what they wanted when they joined. Our youngest caregiver is 18, and our oldest is 76. As you can see, there is no one ‘type’. Compassion and common-sense is the starting point – the rest can be learned.

    Yes, now is definitely the right time to consider a career in care!