Home care provider Caremark is on a mission to challenge the country’s perception that caring is a thankless job after the number of vacant posts in adult social care has increased by 52%. The figure is now the highest since records began in 2012/13, and, on any given day, there are estimated to be around 165,000 vacancies within the industry.

With this high vacancy rate, combined with the reality that the majority of us will need care at some stage in our lives, Caremark’s aim is to address the nationwide lack of awareness about careers in the homecare sector. Care is one of the fastest-growing industries in the UK, and a significant contributor to the economy, adding an estimated £51.5 billion in 2021-22. It’s a little-known fact that the social care workforce is larger than those in the NHS, construction, transport, and food industries.

Looking back in history, vast numbers of the UK population were employed within care roles, so it begs the question – has Britain stopped caring? There’s no denying that working in care is varied, rewarding, secure, and flexible work for all ages, so why is this the case and what can be done about it?

David Glover, the joint CEO of Caremark, commented; “The majority of people, given a choice, would prefer to live independently at home – good quality home care can extend lifespan and be a financially practical route. The UK desperately needs carers, but with staff shortages and the current perception of the job, the adult social care system is on the brink of collapse.

“At Caremark, we’re aiming to challenge public perception of the care industry. We truly believe that education about the role of a care assistant is desperately needed, starting from the ground up in schools. We’re particularly keen to motivate young people to consider home care as a career at the start of their working life. Still, we’re faced with teachers, parents, and pupils favouring other professions. Elementary occupations are the backbone of this country, and if we don’t start championing them, the world will be a very different place.

“The Department for Health and Social Care recently ran a campaign highlighting that only four in ten people think social care offers career progression2, but that simply isn’t true. People in care can study for a diploma in Health and Social Care Work, beginning at level one, which covers the development of communication and IT levels as well as practical and technical skills, up to levels that offer students the chance to build both care and managerial skills. Specialist training is also available in many areas, such as dementia, end-of-life care, or a visual impairment, and opportunities to start a home care franchise or become a care coordinator or manager are also available.”

David concluded; “When a carer goes home at the end of the day, they know they have made a difference to someone’s life, whether helping a child access school or keeping a beloved grandparent healthy and happy at home. Home carers say the job involves plenty of laughter and the fulfillment of making a real connection with their customers. So, we want people to consider that there are no limits for ambitious employees, and young people entering the sector can choose from a variety of paths, leading to a career with substantial job satisfaction.”

To find out more about the jobs available within Caremark, visit www.caremark.co.uk/careers.