Working in social care – a career that makes a difference

Do you want to make a difference to someone’s life? Are you good at working with people? Fancy yourself as a good listener? Then working in social care could be the right choice for you.

Around 1.5 million people work in social care and employers in the sector are really keen to recruit younger people, just like you.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put the social care profession in the spotlight and shown just how important those working in care are to our country.

And now The Care Leaver Covenant has launched the #WeCanBeHeroes campaign to raise awareness of the rewarding and varied roles available.

You don’t necessarily need qualifications or previous experience to work in social care – employers really value the empathy and experience care leavers have and will give you on the job training and support. You can even gain formal qualifications whilst you’re working.

Working in social care offers job security, opportunities for progression, and a job that could just turn into a rewarding career.

Health & Social Care

Working in the Health & Social Care sector brings many personal rewards.

However, there are many misconceptions surrounding this sector.

Read our Mythbusters to find out the facts!

See all our latest Health & Social Care offers!

Working in care – six myths busted

#Myth 1

It’s badly paid

All employers must pay the minimum national living wage, but some social care employers do actually pay more.

If you’re willing to develop, you can also progress and earn more – unlike some sectors, there are opportunities to develop. A lot of employers also offer shopping discounts, training, and cover your mileage costs.

The starting salary for a care assistant can be £15,000 to £16,000 a year. If you progress to a managerial role, you could be earning over £5,000 more per year than the average salary of a retail store manager!

#Myth 2

Working in social care just involves personal care

Some people think working in care just involves helping people with personal care like washing or going to the toilet. The reality is that is just one part of what you might do as a care worker or support worker.

One day you might be supporting someone with their personal care as well as their shopping but on another day you might accompany them on a walk and listen to some music with them.

Employers in social care also recruit to other roles such as administration, cooking and driving.

#Myth 3

I will just be working with old people in a care home

Of course older people do require care but working in a care role can involve supporting a real range of people, of different ages and needs e.g. a young man with learning disabilities, a young woman who’s had a life changing accident or someone with a mental health condition.

Sure, jobs in residential care or nursing homes are probably the most well-known but there are plenty of other opportunities.

You could also be working in someone’s own home (domiciliary or homecare), working in the community (such as in a day centre or a supported housing scheme), or in a hospital.

#Myth 4

It’s a job for middle aged women

The organisations signed up to the Care Leaver Covenant team are actually crying out for younger people who want to start their career!

Also, whilst more women than men do work in care that doesn’t mean it’s not for men – some people requiring care would actually prefer a male carer/support worker.

#Myth 5

You need lots of qualifications to start working in care

Wrong. It’s actually one of the few sectors where you can get the qualifications you need whilst working. Your values and your experiences matter more.

There are also lots of ways to get started – the employers who the Care Leaver Covenant team are working with offer many routes e.g. apprenticeships, advertised vacancies, programmes with the job centre.

There is no better time to start out on a career in social care – the social care sector employs 1.6m people a year and Covid-19 has shown just how valuable staff are.

#Myth 6

Working in care is unfulfilling

This couldn’t be further from the truth. For many hundreds of thousands of people, social care is a hugely rewarding career where you are making a real difference to the lives of the people you work with.

It can be challenging but if one of your motivation’s in life is helping people, then social care is the perfect job for you.

Despite the negative perception of care work, according to the Skill Force survey, 88% of social care workers felt their work really makes a difference and that they have had a positive impact on at least one person’s quality of life.
apprenticeships, advertised vacancies, programmes with the job centre.

There is no better time to start out on a career in social care – the social care sector employs 1.6m people a year and Covid-19 has shown just how valuable staff are.

Social Care Work

Stuart at Choice Support

Stuart at Choice Support

Stuart, 29, has been a support worker for Choice Support since September 2020, helping people in a supported living scheme to live a more independent life. This is his story.

“Fairway family” for care leavers

“Fairway family” for care leavers

A care provider committed to quality and excellence, Fairway Homecare employs hundreds of health and social care professionals working in more than 200 homes across the West Midlands.