Social care offers opportunities for transferable skills and career switching from different industries, providing rewarding roles, training and progression, variety, flexibility and job security. As one new recruit said: “It feels amazing to be doing something worthwhile where I am really needed.”
COVID-19 has made millions of us assess our priorities including family, lifestyle and work.
The virus has also meant many are considering career alternatives with tens of thousands of vacancies available in various professions.
Inspired by the part played by key workers, others are looking to change direction and pursue a career in nursing and social care.
The pandemic has proved yet again the skill and dedication of our nursing staff. There is no doubt it is demanding work that can mean long and unsociable hours. Applicants need A-levels for a place on a nursing degree course. While they are training, they will receive annual payments of between £5,000 and £8,000. There are opportunities for progression and training as well as specialising once qualification exams have been taken and passed.
Staff make a difference, not only to the physical welfare of those in their care, but to their mental well-being and quality of life by interacting with residents through conversation and activities. There is no minimum requirement or qualifications needed. A career in social care offers security and long-term employment prospects, including the opportunity for promotion and progression. Jobs are available in various settings, from supporting people in their own homes, to working in a residential care home.
‘I would want my grandma and grandad to be treated well’
Care work runs in the family for Maisie, who confirms looking after elderly people is “challenging but rewarding”.
“My mum was always a care worker who worked for the council and absolutely loved her job,” explained the 20-year-old.
“I worked as a customer service advisor, taking orders over the phone. It was mainly older people and I’d always get told off for chatting for too long, which got me thinking about going into social care. Talking to older people wasn’t enough. I noticed they were quite lonely and I always wanted to help them. They were always so grateful for anything you did for them. I always thought I had it in me, I’m a caring person.”
Maisie underwent “exciting” four-day training, taking time out from A-Level studies.
“Now I work with people over 60. It’s what I love to do. I work in the community, providing home care for people who are trying to remain independent for as long as they can. We give them extra help with all the bits they need support with.
“I would want my grandma and grandad to be treated nicely so I do things to the best of my abilities. Even if it’s just making a sandwich or a cup of tea, it’s always 100 per cent.”
Maisie continued: “It’s not always the easiest job. Some days it’s very challenging and quite emotionally draining. It’s not a job that you can come home and think ‘right, that’s done’.
“You come home and you think ‘I wonder how so and so’s getting on’. For all the challenging parts and handling different things, it balances out.
“I support a lady who’s over a hundred and she’s the most amazing person to talk to. You’re always learning from them. It’s fascinating. They’re so much wiser than we are.”