Campaign launched in Wales to attract young people into social care roles
Author: Caroline White
More young people are needed to join the care workforce in Wales if it is to have enough workers to meet future demand, says Social Care Wales at the start of a week-long initiative to boost the youth headcount.
Only around one in 10 (11%) of the social care workforce in Wales is under the age of 25, while a third (32%) of employees are over 50, it says.
National recruitment campaign, We Care Wales, has been developed by Social Care Wales in collaboration with a wide range of national and local organisations involved in different aspects of social care, early years and childcare.
It aims to shine a light on what working in social care and childcare is really like and highlight the variety of jobs that are available locally to young people.
It aims to challenge perceptions of working in care, with the message that while it can be demanding, for the right people it can be a purposeful career, available locally, with the flexibility to gain skills and qualifications while working.
Sue Evans, chief executive of Social Care Wales, commented: “It’s vital that more young people take up care as a career to help future-proof the workforce, as a large proportion of current employees are nearing retirement age.
“The Welsh government’s roll-out of 30 hours’ free childcare for working parents and support for unemployed parents who want to train and gain skills means early years and childcare providers are also likely to need more workers to meet a growth in demand.”
She added: “We know from our own research that young people often see working in care as hard work. However, as more of them are living at home with their parents for longer, driving less, and looking for jobs with a purpose, a local job that can make a difference could be perfect for them.
“We hope this campaign, showcasing young people who have chosen a rewarding career in social care, early years and childcare, will inspire others to find out more and discover the benefits.”
Youth support worker, Alaw Paul, who is 22, said she decided to work in the sector to make sure young people in her community had plenty of opportunities to reach their potential.
“Despite only being a few years older than some of the people I work with, I feel they’re able to open up to me about their problems more than they would to an older person. The best thing about my job is that I’m able to see the difference I’m making to people, and where they’re from for myself which is the best form of job satisfaction.”
Over the next few years, We Care Wales will continue to raise awareness and understanding of social care, early years and childcare to boost the headcount of young workers.