Within its ‘Fair Care: A workforce strategy for social care’ report, the Institute for Public Policy and Research has warned that a shortfall of almost 400,000 social care staff could be created in England alone by 2028 as a result of low pay and the effects of the UK leaving the European Union. We’ve teamed up with Acorn Stairlifts, an award-winning stairlift provider, to highlight that there are many opportunities available for focusing your career around the care industry though. Here’s five job roles which are worth considering…

Care worker

As a care worker, your responsibility will be to assist vulnerable people so that they can manage their daily activities and be able to live as independently as possible. You will be tasked to support people with their social and physical activities, as well as matters related to personal care and mobility.

Entry requirements

A job as a care worker can be achieved by completing a college course, an apprenticeship, volunteering opportunities or by applying directly for a role.

If you take the college route, you should be looking to study a course which is relevant to the care industry — obtaining a Level 1 Certificate in Health and Social Care, for instance, or a Level 2 Diploma in Care.

Both lead adult care worker advanced apprenticeships and adult care worker intermediate apprenticeships can see you securing a permanent position as a care worker too, while voluntary work for an organisation which provides support to vulnerable people is another option.

Should you choose to directly apply for a position as a care worker and carry out training while on the job, it will be useful if you’ve already obtained some experience working with people. GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (or A* to C) in English and Maths, or equivalent qualifications, may also be requested from some employers.

Essential skills

To be successful as a care worker, you’ll need to showcase the following skills:

  1. Be able to accept criticism.
  2. Be able to communicate verbally in an exceptional manner.
  3. Be able to pay attention to detail.
  4. Be able to work effectively while under pressure.
  5. Be patient and know how to remain calm even in stressful situations.
  6. Have the ability to work well with others.
  7. Showcase customer service skills.

Day-to-day duties to expect

  • Assisting a client with matters of personal care, including dressing, using the toilet and washing.
  • Assisting a client when it comes to how they pay bills, manage their budget and write letters.
  • Preparing food and then feeding a client, as well as giving out medication.
  • Taking the time to get to know a client, including their needs and interests.
  • Undertaking general tasks, such as housework, laundry and shopping.

Expected salary

According to Totaljobs, the average salary for care worker jobs is £16,622.

Jobs available*

Carry out a search for ‘care worker’ on Indeed at the moment and you will be able to browse through 35,226 related jobs.

Care home manager

Become a care home manager and both the leadership and day-to-day running of a residential care home will be your responsibility. Your tasks will ensure the facility meets industry standards, while you should also expect to manage budgets and contracts in place throughout the organisation.

Entry requirements

Going to university, completing an apprenticeship and progressing into the role by working in the care industry are all routes available which could see you becoming a care home manager.

Opt for the university route and you’ll want to study either a foundation degree, a higher national diploma or a degree in an associated subject such as health and social care management to begin with. Once you’ve completed your selected university course, you’ll want to apply for a place on a graduate trainee scheme.

Higher apprenticeships for children, young people and family managers are available too, if you would rather take this route. You can also start on an apprenticeship for care leadership and management, though take note that additional on-the-job training will be required once you’ve obtained this qualification.

If you already have a job in the care industry, there is the option to apply for training towards a role such as a deputy manager. You should be looking to begin studying for the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services, where you’ll get six pathways to select from:

  1. Management of Adult Services
  2. Management of Adult Residential Services
  3. Practice in Adult Services
  4. Management of Children and Young People’s Services
  5. Management of Children and Young People’s Residential Services
  6. Practice in Children and Young People’s Services

Essential skills

To be successful as a care home manager, you’ll need to showcase the following skills:

  1. Be able to accept criticism.
  2. Be able to understand a person’s reactions.
  3. Be able to work effectively while under pressure.
  4. Have knowledge about the English language.
  5. Have knowledge about the subject of psychology.
  6. Have the ability to work well with others.
  7. Showcase customer service skills.
  8. The ability to carry out counselling, such as active listening and how to take a non-judgmental approach.

Day-to-day duties to expect

Expected salary

According to Totaljobs, the average salary for care home manager jobs is £37,500.

Jobs available*

Carry out a search for ‘care home manager’ on Indeed at the moment and you will be able to browse through 18,789 related jobs.

Residential support worker

The role of a residential support worker is to look after both the mental and physical wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults who are in care.

Entry requirements

Your route to becoming a residential support worker could see you attending college, completing an apprenticeship, working towards the role within the care industry or by applying for the position directly.

Choose to go to college and the appropriate courses which you want to look out for include the Level 2 Certificate for the Children and Young People’s Workforce, the Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in Youth Work Practice, the Level 2 Diploma in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care, or the Level 2 GCSE in Health and Social Care.

An alternative route into obtaining a job as a residential support worker is through an adult care worker intermediate apprenticeship, while another option is to progress into the role after starting work as a support worker within a care home, a children’s home or a hostel.

Should you opt to directly apply for a residential support worker position that’s become available instead, take note that either paid or voluntary experience within the social work and care sector will be required.

Essential skills

To be successful as a residential support worker, you’ll need to showcase the following skills:

Day-to-day duties to expect

Expected salary

According to Totaljobs, the average salary for residential support worker jobs is £19,000.

Jobs available*

Carry out a search for ‘residential support worker’ on Indeed at the moment and you will be able to browse through 6,711 related jobs.

Advocacy worker

Advocacy workers within the care industry are there to ensure the opinions and wishes of all residents based in a care home are heard. As well as providing support to vulnerable people, they will also make sure each resident’s best interests have been considered whenever decisions are made about their lives.

Entry requirements

Hoping to become an advocacy worker in a care home? There are opportunities to get into this role by studying a college course, volunteering, applying directly or taking a course which is run by a private training provider.

Relevant courses if you take the college route include studying for a Level 2 Certificate in Health and Social Care or a Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care. However, be aware that at least two GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (or A* to D) are often required to access a Level 2 course, while four or five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (or A* to C) are usually needed to get on a Level 3 course.

Becoming a volunteer advocate is another option. This route proves appealing as it’s a great way to obtain experience in the role, while volunteers receive both support and training so that they can develop their skills too.

If you already work in the care industry, there’s the possibility that you can also apply directly to become a care home advocacy worker. The experience that you’ve already gained from your time doing care work, social work or counselling is bound to allow you to stand out, though it’s important that you showcase an understanding of the needs of older citizens and display a positive attitude to ageing.

If you’d rather sit a course that was set up by a private training provider to become an advocacy worker, you’ll want to select one of their nationally recognised qualifications which includes units on advocacy.

Essential skills

To be successful as an advocacy worker, you’ll need to showcase the following skills:

  1. Be able to pay attention to detail.
  2. Be able to work effectively while under pressure.
  3. Be patient and know how to remain calm even in stressful situations.
  4. Have knowledge about the subject of psychology.
  5. Have the ability to work well with others.
  6. Showcase customer service skills.
  7. The ability to carry out counselling, such as active listening and how to take a non-judgemental approach.

Day-to-day duties to expect

Expected salary

According to Totaljobs, the average salary for advocacy jobs is £29,000.

Jobs available*

Carry out a search for ‘advocacy worker’ on Indeed at the moment and you will be able to browse through 210 related jobs.

Nurse

The role of a nurse is to provide care for adults who are injured, have physical disabilities or are sick. Within the care industry, they will perform clinical tasks to assist individuals who are based within a nursing home or within the community.

Entry requirements

Either university or an apprenticeship will be your two options when studying to become a nurse.

Work your way along the university route and you’ll be able to study for a degree in adult nursing that’s been approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council. Alternatively, there could be the chance to start studying for a nursing degree on the second year of a course if you’ve already obtained a degree in life sciences, psychology, social work or a health-related subject.

Then there is the option of completing a degree apprenticeship in nursing, where you’ll be mixing academic study with on-the-job training at a care facility. It is important to be aware that support from your employer must be provided in order for you to work your way along this route though.

Essential skills

To be successful as a nurse, you’ll need to showcase the following skills:

Day-to-day duties to expect

Expected salary

According to Totaljobs, the average salary for jobs as a nurse is £31,787.

Jobs available*

Carry out a search for ‘nurse’ on Indeed at the moment and you will be able to browse through 52,106 related jobs.

*Jobs available logged as of March 2019.

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About Author

Charles Whitworth is the Editor of the Young Academic publications. Graduating from the University of Liverpool with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 2008, Charles learnt his trade in newsrooms such as IPC Media and Sky. He has now developed as a top sports, music and current affairs journalist and has been printed in a range of publications including The Guardian. His interests include Cricket, Football, Rugby, Music and Current Affairs. Fresh from the editorship of Student Times he now takes the reins at Young Academic - the premier student news portal. Connect with me on Google+

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