In my previous column, I wrote about the importance of supporting the well-being of individuals working in social care and early years and childcare. This is one of the main priorities of our five-year plan.
Another important priority is attracting and recruiting enough people with the right skills and values to work in caring roles. We know that working in the care sector is very fulfilling with lots of variety and a chance to make a real difference to people’s lives.
Like many other professions, there is a shortage of new recruits with many vacancies across Wales. This is worrying, as this shortage of workers has potentially serious consequences for people in our communities who rely on practitioners for their care, support and well-being.
That’s why, with Welsh Government support, we have stepped up our efforts to help more people take up jobs in care in Wales.
Our jobs website, wecare.wales, developed as part of the national WeCare Wales campaign to attract more people into caring roles, now has hundreds of posts available all over the country.
We have also been providing more direct support to prepare people to work in care. This takes the form of a free training programme for people interested in working in social care.
Called ‘An introduction to social care’, the three-day online training is available for anyone over 18 living in Wales.
Training is once a week for three weeks with a workbook to complete. It covers the essentials to start working in social care, such as communication, keeping people safe and working practices.
Recently , we have also run two tailored versions of the training programme: one with the Prince’s Trust, aimed at the young people it works with, and the other with the African Community Centre in Swansea.
The aim of both courses was to provide an overview of social care and help individuals decide whether it was right for them.
One of the young people who took part in the Prince’s Trust training programme said: “I joined the course to gain experience in adult care… I love that no two days are the same whilst working in the sector and it provides real job satisfaction.”
Another of the young participants said: “I enjoyed every part of the programme. It was well-rounded and l learned a lot about the different roles, communication, and health and safety.”
For individuals over 18 who complete the full introduction to social care course, there is now an opportunity to get guaranteed interviews with a growing range of employers.
This helps give people confidence when they apply for jobs, speeds up recruitment, puts better candidates at the front of the queue, and potentially provides a wider range of candidates because it does not put off people who are not comfortable filling in long application forms.
We have also started a programme aimed specifically at young people interested in working in care. It’s a tailored programme which gives young people an overview of social care.
The training takes a day and a half to complete, and is suitable for young people aged 14 to 17 years. The next sessions will be held in October.
Anyone interested in any of the courses should email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Employers can post jobs and people can search vacancies at wecare.wales.