The government has stepped up its recruitment campaign to promote job vacancies in social care during the ongoing pandemic.
Starting this week, the ‘Care for Others. Make a Difference’, which launched in April, will highlight long-term career opportunities in the sector through television, digital and radio advertising.
Jobseekers, volunteers and people on furlough can also now register their interest for short-term job opportunities, including personal care, the government said.
The news comes one month after the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) called for new recruits to support the social care sector’s “exhausted workforce” amid rising absence rates.
The organisation said “alarming gaps” are appearing in social care teams through COVID infection, self-isolation and fatigue.
A recent NCF survey found that care providers across the UK are reporting staff absence rates of up to 50%.
Commenting on the recruitment campaign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I want to thank carers for all they do to look after our loved ones. Throughout this pandemic, they have gone above and beyond to protect our parents and grandparents, and to provide them with the support and care they need and we would be truly lost without them.
“This exceptional career choice is tough but rewarding, and I would urge anyone who is thinking of a career in care to come forward and join this heroic workforce.”
Skills for Care estimates that 7.3% of roles in adult social care were vacant in 2019/20, equivalent to 112,000 vacancies at any one time.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are doing everything we can to support the adult social care sector throughout this pandemic and our social care workforce have done an incredible job of helping the most vulnerable in society.
“I am urging the public – whether you are a job-seeker, or looking for a new career – to consider working in care. We need short term support while we face the pandemic and to continue to recruit the right people, with the right values, now and into the future.”
Minister for Care Helen Whately added: “Since the pandemic began, we’ve seen thousands of wonderful people step forwards to volunteer for the NHS and take part in our truly tremendous national vaccination effort. Today, I’m asking people to step forwards to help in social care too.
“Jobs in the care sector are hard work, but they can also be incredibly rewarding. When you get home from work you know you’ve made a real difference for the people you care for. I know we can’t say thank you to care workers too many times for what they do.”