Campaign Encourages Young People to Become Care Workers

The government are targeting young people in England in a bid to recruit thousands more care workers.

There are currently more than 100,000 vacancies in the sector - a figure which some warn may rise after Brexit.

The Health Foundation charity has released a report claiming that a lack of community staff may damage the NHS, representative Anita Charlesworth said there needed to be a "coherent strategy" to address the workforce problems.

The Every Day is Different campaign is going to be promoted on social media and online platforms to encourage under-40s to take up jobs such as care workers, therapists and activity co-ordinators.

The recruitment drive will be running in February and March and will focus on the rewarding and diverse nature of care work and will include the personal stories of young people who have built careers in the sector.

One of the faces of the campaign is Bradley McKenzie, 34, who works for Society of St James as a support worker in a residential care home in Southampton caring for residents with long-term alcohol and mental health problems.

Before becoming a support worker, he was a fitness trainer.

"If you have a good heart and you want to be helpful, you could feel really rewarded working in this sector," he said.

Greg worked part-time while studying for his degree

Greg Mather, 22, from London is a final year degree student who in the past year has been working part-time as a domiciliary care worker.

"It has been hugely advantageous to me in the long term as it has provided me with amazing experience in working with vulnerable adults.

But he says it not enough to say that 'you'll feel so rewarded after each shift' if you are paid so little.

"For such an emotionally and sometimes physically demanding job it is shocking that the majority of care workers are paid minimum wage."

Naomi Baker is a 20-year-old university student who uses care workers. She says it is useful having someone closer to her age caring for her. "It's easier for them to understand what I want."

Although the campaign will be asking people of all ages to come forward, research has shown that young people are the most likely to work in the sector.

The care sector needs to plan for the long term, there are more than 1.4 million people working in social care - this figure needs to rise by 650,000 by 2035 to cope with an ageing population.

While care home work is synonymous with the sector, the campaign will highlight the variety of roles available, including hospital-based therapists, activity co-ordinators and personal assistants.

Sharon Allen, of Skills for Care, which supports the training of care workers, said: "I have spent my whole career in adult social care so I know first hand the tremendous professional and personal satisfaction that is on offer to anyone who joins us through this campaign."

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