Adult social care recruitment care campaign launched to boost workforce

A new national adult social care recruitment campaign has been launched to boost the adult social care workforce in England as part of a wider plan to attract more staff into the sector

A man and his carer opening a kitchen cupboard

• A new campaign ‘Care for others. Make a difference’ today launched to support aim to attract thousands more people into social care sector
• Highlights the vital role of the social care workforce during the pandemic, along with the longer-term opportunity of working in care
• Rapid training and work programme will be set up

The campaign, titled ‘Care for Others. Make a Difference’, will look to inspire the public to consider a career in social care.

To help fill the recruitment gap, the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock and Care Minister Helen Whately today launch the campaign to encourage the right people with the right values and attributes to consider a paid career in adult social care work.

The campaign includes the new CARE brand for social care which symbolises the entire care profession – like the iconic and recognisable NHS logo. The brand aims to raise the profile of the care sector and allow businesses to show them the same appreciation as NHS workers.

Free-to-access e-learning courses and webinars for local authority and care provider staff are also being developed on how to maintain good care in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. Key topics will include: safeguarding, person-centred care, dementia, Mental Capacity Act, infection control and supporting care at home to reduce pressure on the NHS. 

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: 

"During these unprecedented times we are all grateful to the huge number of social care workers working day and night to provide quality care to the most vulnerable in our society.

"The whole country wants to thank the 1.5 million of you for your inspirational and tireless work.

"I want this campaign to reignite the search for people with a zest for caring and protecting our most vulnerable to step forward to join them."

 Helen Whately, Minister of State for Care, comments:

"The care sector is a vital part of our society, and this pandemic has truly brought home the skill and commitment of care workers who are looking after some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

"We want to make sure everyone knows what an important and valued job care workers do, and inspire more people to step forwards to join the care workforce.

"We also want to support care providers who are looking to recruit staff, so we are offering free initial training to applicants considering a job in care. This should help job seekers looking to work in care for the first time and their future employers.

"We want to bring together all those thinking they might work in care with social care providers looking for new recruits, and to make it as simple as possible for the doors to open up for thousands more compassionate and committed people to work in care."

Skills for Care have worked with the government to make rapid online induction training accessible. This includes key elements of the Care Certificate and is available free of charge. This will provide good practice resources and support for social care professionals to help the sector meet the challenge of COVID-19.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, comments:

"There are thousands of people who are kind, skilled and dedicated and who have the necessary values and qualities to become part of the social care workforce. Social care transforms lives and enables people to live well. The satisfaction and rewards of delivering social care are incalculable and we hope that there will be many people who will come into the social care workforce and achieve a satisfying and rewarding career."

Joint Chief Social Worker for Adults, Mark Harvey and Fran Leddra, said:

"We have both worked in social care all our lives and everyday find ourselves in awe of the dedication and commitment that the workforce  have always shown. They provide care and support to sustain some of the most important elements of our lives – relationships, companionship, inclusion, meaning, independence and aspiration. At a time when social care is valued more than ever, we hope that this campaign inspires others to join our talented workforce."

Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth said:

"We know that significant numbers of social care staff are unable to work so realising this ambition of recruiting thousands of people to where they are needed by providers right across the country is absolutely vital.

"Some of our network of endorsed training providers have secured funding to deliver learning for new staff so they have the skills and knowledge needed to make a real difference in the lives of the people they will be working with and in their communities."

Chris Hyams, CEO at global job site Indeed, commented: 

"Looking for work in the current job market can feel challenging. Indeed’s mission is to help people get jobs, and today we are proud to form a partnership with DHSC to help jobseekers find key roles on the frontlines in social care. Making a leap into another sector may feel daunting but now is a great time to consider new fields. To those ready to work and make a difference, Indeed is here to help."

Currently, 1.49 million people work in adult social care, but the coronavirus outbreak has put additional pressure on the vital work already being provided by the sector.

The most important qualities needed in care workers are an ability to treat others with respect, listen to their needs, understand their emotions and be warm, kind and honest. A good standard of English, numeracy and digital skills, attention to detail and the ability to work as part of a team is also important.

The Department of Health and Social Care has been working with both care providers and recruitment agencies and is calling for all relevant organisations to ensure vacancies are advertised or listed on www.everydayisdifferent.com.

Many job boards, including Indeed, Monster, Reed, Totaljobs Group and TARGETJobs are offering support to help fill these vacancies. This ranges from free job listings to free advertising.

Last week the government published its adult social care action plan. The plan outlined activity to attract previously registered social workers in England, occupational therapists and nurses to return to the sector to support the frontline effort.

Over 7,000 retired nurses have responded to a call to return to employment, some of whom will be deployed to care settings.

Former social workers who have left the profession have also been invited back to return to employment – with the aim that 8,000 social workers could be supported to return to work if they wish to. Over a thousand individuals have already expressed an interest in returning to social care during the outbreak.

The government’s adult social care action plan, published last week, sets out how we are protecting workers by ramping up testing across the system for care workers and their families. We’re ensuring millions of additional personal protective equipment (PPE) items reach those on the frontline with local resilience forums identifying those most in need of more.

The Secretary of State has written to local authorities outlining how the £1.6 billion funding for local authorities should support adult social care providers and workers. To ensure this additional funding is making a difference, we are asking local authorities to provide information about the distribution of this funding to providers.

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