Care providers urged to “raise their game”

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A new campaign has been launched which aims to address issues within health and social care recruitment 

4th November 2019 by Gareth Jones 1 Comment

A new campaign has been launched to boost recruitment in the embattled health and social care sector.

Based in Hamilton but active across Scotland, LOVE@care offers a wide range of professional care services, tailored to individual service user needs and undertaken by highly trained carers.

Its campaign will seek to highlight the various roles and considerable opportunities available in the sector, with a specific focus on attracting those from non-care related backgrounds and men. It has also called on care providers to raise their game, boosting its attractiveness to those seeking new opportunities.

With people living longer, and an expansion in early learning and childcare, Scotland needs more people to work in the care sector, addressing the current care crisis.

Currently the number of vacancies in the sector is growing, with the latest data from the Care Inspectorate indicating that 38% of services reported having vacancies, up 2% on the previous year. In addition, 45% of services with vacancies reporting problems filling them

Care at home services (62%), care homes for older people (59%), housing support services (59%) and care homes for adults (53%) were the main service types with the largest proportion of services reporting vacancies, all significantly above the national average.

This problem is set to be exacerbated by Brexit which could lead to lower levels of immigration to Scotland. EU nationals account for 5.6% of staff in the care sector currently, with 42% of care services recruitment overseas coming from the EU.

A report from the STUC earlier this year also found that the workforce of the care sector will have to expand by 80,000 – an additional 40% of workers - by 2035.

The care provider has also urged the sector to raise its game in general, making itself more attractive as a career choice through offering a decent wage and helping individuals working in it gain qualifications, noting that many working in it currently feel undervalued.

Reinforcing this, it pointed to the fact that one in 10 social care workers are on zero hours contracts and 80% of early years practitioners and half of supervisors earn less than the real Living Wage of £9 per hour.

Lynn Bell, chief executive of LOVE@care, said: “This recruitment campaign comes against a perfect storm of major staff shortages and the potential impact of Brexit, which will simply worsen the crisis we are already in.

“We are operating in a sector where there are clearly problems recruiting workers and in order to attract people we need make them aware of the considerable opportunities on offer and do more to enhance its reputation and ensure that it is valued as a career choice.

“We would urge all providers to raise their game look at solutions to create a sustainable and successful care sector, tackling the recruitment challenge. As an example, the career pathway we provide through training supports individuals gain the qualifications to move through the ranks of the care sector and help establish this as a career of choice, helping to improve people’s lives.”

9th November 2019 by Susan hart

I've worked in care/social services for many years from the 80s onwards. The pay is awful and is on a status scale ie older peoples services usually pay the worst and it's mainly female workers, young people in care pays the best as historically it was men mainly who worked in it. Pay should be leveled out across the services. Hours are awful and a lot of the time you are short staffed, training is extremely poor, safety for staff is poor. There is a lot to be done to make care an attractive career choice. It's also a lot to do with employing the right staff. Just because they are male and applying doesn't make them the right choice or female and been in it for years. Agencies and the DWP are making people work in this sector who are not suitable at all. A great deal of abuse goes on in care services. So theres a lot to fix in this sector!