HC-One, the UK’s largest care provider, has joined forces with the GMB Union to launch Careforce, a new initiative to champion careers in care.
Devised by the two organisations, Careforce has been prompted by a “triple-whammy” of what the pair calls increasing demand caused by an ageing population, low pay caused by inadequate funding arrangements and poor morale caused by relentlessly negative media coverage.
They claim this is making it difficult for operators to recruit and retain the people required to provide the very best care to society’s most vulnerable.
The Careforce initiative will work to secure the necessary support, progression and pay structures to inspire new joiners and retain outstanding staff by actively promoting and celebrating the benefits of a career in care.
The organisations said the unprecedented partnership was significant – not just for the sector, but for everyone who may need care themselves, or whose loved ones require care, and aren’t able to receive the level of support they need.
As part of the Careforce launch, which took place at the House of Commons yesterday and was attended by Care Home Professional, HC-One chief executive Justin Hutchens and GMB Union general secretary Tim Roache signed an historic recognition agreement between the two major UK organisations.
The document signals a pact between the two to work together in ensuring the HC-One workers are fully supported, which will in turn ensure HC-One residents receive the kindest care.
HC-One and GMB are now also calling for other stakeholders across the sector to give their backing to Careforce to help ensure that all of society’s elderly have access to a happy and motivated workforce of carers.
Skills for Care Chair Dame Moira Gibbs and Director of Age UK Caroline Abrahams also lent their support to Careforce by speaking at this inaugural event.
HC-One chief executive, Justin Hutchens, said: “Ensuring our residents are happy and fulfilled is our top priority at HC-One. That is why I am so excited about celebrating our new recognition agreement with the GMB by launching the Careforce initiative and promoting the professionalisation of care work. Encouraging socially-committed and ambitious people to enter this sector’s workforce, and more importantly, incentivising them to stay, is key to ensuring that HC-One can deliver on its promise to provide the kindest care to our residents.”
GMB general secretary, Tim Roache, added: “Care is crucial. For each of us individually, our parents, grandparents, kids, friends and neighbours, but too often the sector is overlooked and the people working in care treated less than the frontline professionals that they are.
“Careforce is an initiative that shows forward thinking unions and progressive employers understand not only the value of care and care workers, but the urgency of tackling the care crisis. The growing crisis in care can be tackled with the right funding, resources and political will. That’s what we’re calling for, and what we’ll continue to campaign for.”