How can you find social care work experience this Work Experience Week?

Work experience is a great way to find out if a career in social care is right for you, and if you’re right for social care.

Working in a real social care workplace can help you understand what the sector is all about. And although you might have studied health and social care at school or college, there’s nothing quite like being there and seeing it for yourself.

It’s also a great way of meeting other people, developing communication and other workplace skills and gaining experience that you can put on your CV and talk about in interviews.

This work experience week we want to help you find a placement with a great employer.

 

How can I find work experience?

1. Find your local I Care..Ambassador service

I Care…Ambassadors are real-life social care employers who offer people the opportunity to hear about what it’s really to work in social care. You might have already had a talk from an ambassador at school or college, but you might not know that some also offer work placements.

Search online for your local ambassador service and ask them if they offer work placements.

 

2. Speak to your local Community Voluntary Service office

Your local service can help you find volunteering opportunities as a way of gaining work experience in social care.

 

3. Contact your local Jobcentre Plus

If you’re looking for work and are interested in social care, your local Jobcentre Plus could help you find work experience. They might also support you with CV writing, interview skills and training and qualifications.

Find your local Jobcentre Plus.

 

What kind of person do I need to be?

You don’t necessarily need any experience or qualifications to work in social care – what’s really important is your values and what you’re like as a person.

Some of the values you need to work in social care are:

  • the ability to treat people with dignity and respect
  • good at working with others
  • committed to quality care and improving lives
  • willing to learn and develop at work.

What values do I need to work in social care tells you a bit more about what type of person you need to be, and there are short activities to help you think about whether social care is right for you.

Everyone working in social care also needs core skills such as English, number, digital and employability skills such as team work and problem solving skills.

Depending in where you do your work experience and who you work with, you might need some specific skills.

What core skills do I need to work in social care outlines some of the skills you need and has short activities to help you think about transferable core skills from your previous experiences.

 

What should I ask before I start?

Getting work experience can be exciting for some and daunting for others, which might mean you forget to ask some key questions before you start.

Here’s a checklist of some of the questions you might want to ask before you start.

  • Who should I report to on my first day?
  • Where should I go and what time should I arrive?
  • What should I wear – is there a uniform?
  • What are my working hours and will there be breaks?
  • Do I need to provide my own lunch?
  • What sort of tasks and activities will I be doing during the experience?
  • Is there anything else I need to bring with me or do before I start? 

 

Find out more 

There's lots of more information about working in social care on our website, including the different job roles you could do and how to find your first role.