WeCare Wales (WcW) has launched a campaign highlighting the benefits of choosing a career in care.
One in 17 adults in Wales works in the sector, according to WcW, making it a larger employer than the NHS. However, the growing demand for care services means that an estimated 2,000 additional people a year will be needed by 2030.
WcW is trying changing the perception that it involves a lot of personal and direct care and that it’s low skilled work with little reward, in a bid to encourage more people to choose a career in the sector.
The campaign aims to highlight the elements that make the job worthwhile as well as the various progression routes available, including the opportunity to gain qualifications while you work.
Abbi-Lee Davies, head of service for residential care at M&D Care in Carmarthenshire, said she took a job as a support worker after becoming unhappy in her previous job.
‘I desperately needed to change my career and saw a vacancy for a support worker.
‘I didn’t have any qualifications to work in care, but I’ve since been able to do my qualifications while I work.
‘People think that working in care is a low-skilled job with lots of personal care, but it’s a profession. I’ve been able to build on my career over the last seven years by taking part in a fast-track management scheme.
‘I’m now responsible for overseeing the management of residential homes. This includes managing the staff and making sure the residents are happy and progressing with their programmes. It’s definitely opened doors for me.’
Martin Katawaluwa, a residential child care manager from Wrexham, took a part-time role as a care worker in a residential children’s home while studying for his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 2006.
‘I believed my career would take a certain path after my Master’s, however, what I found is that I enjoyed working in care so much, I stayed.
‘I progressed through the ranks and now I’m a manager of a home with children between 11 and 18-years-old and have completed another Master’s degree in leadership.
‘Working in the social care sector isn’t without its challenges. There can be difficult days, but for the right person it can be a very rewarding career. You’ve got to be someone who understands people and genuinely want to help them and make a difference while putting your own needs aside.’
Izzy Evren and Tyne Hughes, both second-year Health and Social Care learners at further education college, Coleg Gwent, were filmed by the WcW team helping a local couple to improve their digital skills, as part of a work placement with a leading Newport homecare provider, Bluebird Care.
This footage will be shared across a wide range of social media channels and in standard advertising sources, highlighting just how well our learners are doing within this valuable area of work and how much these skills are needed.
Izzy said: ‘It’s been really exciting to be involved in the We Care Wales campaign.
‘It was great to be able to share some of the digital skills we’ve learnt at Coleg Gwent while on work placement. I think the campaign is really important as it shows all the good work that happens in the social care sector and the positive difference it makes to people’s lives.’
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