Kick start your career in social care today!

The adult social care sector currently employs 1.5 million people, and by 2030, Skills for Care estimate that another 500,000 jobs and people could be needed in the sector to meet England’s growing social care demands.

To help you kick start your career in social care, Skills for Care has put together five top tips to get you started.

  1. Do your research to find a role that will suit your personality and skills.

There are many exciting roles at all levels that could suit your skills and interests, ranging from entry level, managerial, and graduate roles. Your role in social care could involve manufacturing custom equipment for someone, providing interesting activities for someone to do, or assessing what type of care a person needs. There are lots of different roles out there that require different skills and experience. Think Care Careers can help you to explore the different job roles and decide which is right for you.

  1. Get some experience in the sector

There are plenty of volunteering opportunities within adult social care. Ben Rosamond, person-centred planning facilitator at Sunderland city council enjoyed coaching at a special needs school for younger people with learning and physical disabilities, before deciding upon a career in social care.

Once you have an idea about what role you want to do, look for volunteering experience that will support your application. Local community centres, day centres, charities and care providers are often prepared to open their doors and invest in new people with a real interest. You could be asked to take part in a range of activities from fundraising to hands on care and organising events.

  1. Think about how your skills, experience and personal values can be transferred into a role in social care

Once you have a better idea about the kind of role you would like to get into, search for a few vacancies on the internet and have a look at what skills, experience and values are required.

Have you played on a sports team or had to juggle conflicting priorities? You may already have some useful experience from your existing career and personal life, so it’s worth thinking about what you already have to bring to the table that’s relevant and transferable.

Think Care Careers is a useful tool to help identify roles matched to social care interests, skills and qualifications and how to develop a career in social care.

  1. Be enthusiastic and share your passion for working with people in social care

It’s important that you demonstrate a genuine desire to help people when working in the sector. Make sure you highlight this on your CV, application form and in any conversations or interviews

Often employers will look for the right values in a person when recruiting and this is something you should highlight. A bit more about some of the values a social care employer may look for can be found here.

Similarly, showcasing that you understand the caring role by exemplifying how you would treat someone with dignity and respect for example, will demonstrate that you have a real desire to work in the sector and understand what it means to provide care and support.

  1. Learn a bit about current issues in the sector

Do you keep up to date with current issues relevant to the role? Showing a wider understanding of the sector and knowing some of the key issues could help you to stand out against other candidates.

A basic understanding of current policy and legislation, such as the Mental Capacity Act, safeguarding procedures and confidentiality of personal records, might also be useful for interviews. Think about how they might affect the role you are interested in and try and incorporate this into your answers.

You can also visit Skills for Care’s Think Care Careers, which provides lots of information about the different roles available in the sector, what experience and qualifications you might need, and advice on how to start your career in social care.

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