Care UK has welcomed a new national recruitment campaign designed to help fill the 110,000 vacancies in the adult social care sector.
The Every Day is Different campaign, which aims to show how rewarding social care careers can be, was launched by the government last month (see Government launches social care recruitment campaign).
Victoria Cole, Care UK’s Head of Resourcing, said: “This kind of campaign is long overdue. Like many providers we’ve been doing our best to share this view, but we can never have the impact that a national, government-backed campaign will be able to achieve.”
Currently, almost 1.5 million people work in the sector, but it is predicted an additional 650,000 workers will be needed by 2035 to keep pace with the rising numbers of people aged 65 and over.
Victoria said: “We hope the campaign will not just focus on ‘bringing in the numbers’ but that it will also strive to inspire candidates with the right values. At Care UK we firmly believe that we can give people who have a genuine interest and commitment in supporting others the necessary skills, but you cannot train people to be empathetic and caring – and these are the traits of great carers that we really value.”
The campaign also sets out to highlight the range of job roles available in the care sector. Victoria said: “While the initial focus is on direct care roles, such as care assistants, there are a growing range of roles available, which tap into a wider skills base and which could attract people who may never have considered a future in social care.”
Care UK has created the role of lifestyle coordinator, which goes beyond the remit of the traditional activities coordinator. Victoria said: “Our coordinators not only create events and activities, they also help maintain life-skills, rekindle interests old and new and make dreams come true. Our wishing tree scheme has seen residents meet the Pope, go flying, have their first driving lesson and have a close encounter with penguins. At one home we have an art studio and an artist in residence, to encourage residents to communicate in whatever medium speaks to them.
“The exciting role of lifestyle coordinator could be very attractive to those who have trained, or who have an interest in, the arts or psychology and who have not seen how they could be connected to social care.”
Care UK will be backing-up the Government’s campaign with its own social media and advertising strategies.