Careers information and help

If you’re looking for a career for life, which makes a positive difference, then a job in social care or early years and childcare could be for you. We have information and advice to help you find the right career.

Social care

Social care provides care and support to people, so they can live the lives they want to live as independently as possible. The demand for social care workers is growing. We need people who have the right values, skills and knowledge to provide high-quality care and support.

Why choose social care as a career?

As well as meeting people’s needs, working in social care is very rewarding as you will be making a difference to other people’s lives.

The benefits of working in social care include: 

  • job opportunities for people of all ages
  • work full-time or part-time depending on your circumstances
  • work to support people with specific needs such as dementia, sensory loss or people with learning disabilities
  • work in a care home, the community or by supporting people in their own homes. 

There are many job opportunities to choose from, which can provide you with interesting challenges.

How to get started and find work

Visit WeCare.wales to see what career opportunities are available and find out what those who already work in social care have to say. 

Why not try our interactive video challenge to see what a career in social care is like? At the end of the challenge, you'll be given a detailed personal profile that tells you if you’ve got what it takes.

Early years and childcare

With Government initiatives making early years and childcare provision more accessible, there is an increasing demand for workers who have the right values and skills who can provide a high-quality service to children and their families.

Why choose early years and childcare as a career?

Early years and childcare workers play an important role in helping children from birth to school age reach their full potential by supporting their development. As a worker, your contribution will help them get the best possible start in life.

The benefits of working in early years and childcare include:

  • job opportunities for people of all ages
  • working full-time or part-time depending on your circumstances
  • working closely with children of all backgrounds and abilities, helping them develop skills that they’ll use throughout their lives
  • working in a wide range of settings, such as day nurseries, playgroups, integrated children’s centres or in your own home as a child-minder.

How to get started and find work

You don't need qualifications or previous experience to get started in early years. Many jobs give you the option to train at work, so why not use your existing skills and experiences to follow a new career.

Visit WeCare.wales to see what career opportunities are available and find out what those who already work in early years and childcare have to say.

There are different ways to get started and find work. Why not try:

You will be expected to update your knowledge, skills and competence regularly and encouraged to gain diplomas while working.

Why not try our interactive video challenge to see what a career in early years and childcare is like. At the end of the challenge, you'll be given a detailed personal profile that tells you if you’ve got what it takes.

Social work

Social work is a challenging yet rewarding career that involves working with people to improve their lives. Social work is about assessing circumstances whilst providing support, advice and information to assist people to be as independent as possible, while protecting them from harm when necessary.

Why choose social work as a career?

You’ll be involved in varied and interesting work, with the chance to be part of a committed team of professionals, often from other sectors, such as health, police, housing and education.

Social work is a people profession. However, being a good social worker takes more than having an interest in people. Helping people take control of their lives calls for a combination of knowledge, good personal attributes and skills that include being:

  • honest
  • flexible
  • resilient
  • an excellent communicator
  • mature, with sound values.

Social work offers a wide range of opportunities for career progression and ongoing professional development, along with good starting salaries for new graduates.

How to get started and find work

To become a social worker in the UK you will need to have a social work qualification.

If you’re thinking of studying a social work degree or Master’s degree at a Welsh university, we have information on the different types of bursaries and other financial support that may be available to you.

To work as a social worker in Wales you will need to apply to register with us.

Find out more about social work on WeCare.wales.

Help and advice for social care employers

Employers play an important role in the career of someone working in social care or early years and childcare. Here are resources to support employers find the right workers and give them the development and learning opportunities they need.

Finding the right workers

The Care Ambassador programme aims to raise the profile of social care and early years and childcare as well as promoting them as enjoyable, rewarding and successful career choices. 

Apprenticeships are a combination of on and off-the-job education and training and provide a practical and cost-effective way to recruit and train new staff.

Work experience also gives workers an opportunity to discover more about what working in social care or early years and childcare is really like. We have developed a work experience resource that provides information on suitable workplaces and tasks.

WeCare.wales allows you to add your organisation's details to help people looking for jobs in care in Wales to find you.

Staff development and learning

A good, well-structured induction period is essential for all new workers. It makes sure new workers understand the importance of person-centred practice. It highlights the core values and principles of work in health and social care. It also helps workers settle and become more effective in their jobs.

Investment in continuing professional development (CPD) helps motivate workers to take responsibility for their professional development from the start of their careers. CPD leads to competent, confident and skilled workers, providing values-based care and support.

All practitioners, whether they are full, part-time, volunteers, apprentices or work placement students need supervision and appraisal. A guide to supervising and appraising well is aimed at those who are carrying out supervision and appraisal with early years and childcare practitioners.

First Steps in Management is an interactive resource that supports social care managers who are new in post. Find out more about how First Steps in Management can help you.

Contact us

If you have a question you can Contact us.

Last updated: 10 July 2019