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.
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.
Cole 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. Cole 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.”
But critics have accused ministers of sugar-coating the realities of the job and failing to tackle the problems triggering “the daily exodus” of care workers from the sector.
Unison assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Poor pay, minimal training and a dire lack of funding are the main reasons why so many care workers want to leave. The government must address these pressing issues first.”
Karolina Gerlich, a home care worker and founding director of the National Association for Care & Support Workers said: “With turnover rates so high in social care already – what are the chances of retaining young people when they applied as the result of a campaign that masks the sometimes brutal reality of working in the sector as it currently stands?”