Young people’s interest in the health and social care sector has soared during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a new report has found.
Comparing data from July to September 2020 to this period last year, the desire amongst British school, college and university leavers to work in health and social care rose by 79%.
This represents the largest rise of any sector, followed by childcare which rose by 66%, and education and training which rose by 50%.
The survey came from social enterprise and job site GetMyFirstJob, which sees 25,000 young people register with the service every quarter.
It shows that health and social care has leapt from the tenth to the fourth most preferred career pathway for young Brits.
Julie Hyde, executive director for Education & Training Strategy at awarding organisation NCFE, says health and social care employers must use this rise in popularity to their advantage.
“These findings provide a good deal of optimism for the long-term of these sectors, which are so vital for our economy and society. We cannot underestimate, however, the impact so far of the recruitment challenges faced by the health and social care sector, struggling with a critical shortfall in qualified staff and a historical drop in the number of young people and apprentices being recruited to fill the gap,” she said.
“Coupled with the fact that this age group has already been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, it is critical that we maximise the opportunity presented by the findings. This means supporting career development for young people, to satisfy the demand for skilled workers in a way the economy needs. We need to see an equal desire from employers to being open to recruit younger adults for these crucial roles.”
David Allison, CEO at GetMyFirstJob and TheTalentPeople, who co-founded the site following the last recession, is optimistic about the opportunity for young people.
He said: “Despite the major challenges that exist at this unprecedented time, we’ve seen demand for young people increase in many areas. It’s reassuring to see that at a time when there is more need than ever before for those to join the medical and caring professions, young people are rising to the challenge.”