Have you thought about a career in social care?
So, you've receieved/about to receieve your exam results and will be considering your options – what’s next?
University? Backpacking in Asia? How about a career in social care?
Social care is all about supporting people to maintain their independence, dignity and control. You can make a real difference to someone’s life, from supporting someone with a range of disabilities, dementia or mental health conditions.
There are lots of routeways into the sector and plenty of opportunities for progression, and you don’t necessarily need any qualifications or previous work experience - you just need to have the right passion and values.
Why choose social care?
Adult social care is one of the few sectors where jobs are increasing. There are currently 1.6 million jobs in adult social care, and by 2035 we estimate that we’ll need enough people to fill an additional 650,000 – that’s a lot of jobs, and it’s only getting bigger!
What jobs could you do?
There are many roles available depending on what you want to do, who you want to work with and where you’d like to work. Somewhere in your community, there’s a job that you can do to help others.
Job roles can include:
- Care worker – front line staff supporting people with their overall care, comfort and wellbeing
- Personal assistant – or PAs, employed by an individual rather than an organisation and working with them in their home, place or work or community
- Activity worker – designing and delivering social activities for people
- Social worker – providing advice and emotional support to help people adjust to changes in their lives.
Find out more about these jobs and many more here.
Where do you start?
It may seem daunting, but there’s lots of advice and guidance to help you kick-start your career in social care.
Think Care Careers
This website has lots of information to help you find out what job roles there are in social care and the skills and qualifications you may need.
Hear from people who work in social care about what they do in their role and how they got there.
You can also speak to someone from the National Careers Service for advice.
Visit your local branch and ask them about any opportunities. They may also be able to offer support about:
- employability support – practical support/training to help you develop the right skills to help you find work
- pre-employment training – a short course to give you a good idea of what it’s like to work in social care
- job search – access to online vacancy lists to apply for roles.
Apprenticeships are a great option for anyone who’s ready to start work and wants to develop their skills and knowledge in the sector.
They include working with a social care employer whilst achieving a qualification, doing skills training and earning a wage.
Search for opportunities at www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship.
Not ready for an apprenticeship? Traineeships are for 16-24 year olds not in employment and can include work preparation training such as CV writing, support with English and maths skills and a work placement.
Search for opportunities at www.gov.uk/find-traineeship.
Volunteer or do work experience
To find out if social care is the right fit for you, it might be useful to try it first. Your school, college or jobcentre might be able to help you, or you could contact organisations directly.
You can also look on www.do-it.org to find local volunteering opportunities.
Apply for jobs
If you’re all set and raring to go, search online for jobs in social care in your local area, on websites such as Fish4Jobs, Indeed, or on Every Day is Different. You could also write to local care providers in your community to ask them about any vacancies they might have.
Have you got what it takes?
Our online quiz, A Question of Care, can help you see if social care is the right path for you. Watch videos that show you common situations that might occur in a day-to-day social care role.
You’ll then answer questions to help you learn about the values needed to make a great care worker, and at the end you receive a detailed personal profile telling you if you’ve got what it takes.
Whatever you decide to do, there’s always a social care role for you.