I spent an hour visiting a care home in Neath recently and was impressed by the enthusiasm and professionalism of the team there.
Residents were happy and involved in a range of discussions and activities with relatives and staff, in a welcoming and creative environment.
The building is fairly new and benefits from bespoke features that allow most care needs to be met. Yet it was the quality of the staff that impressed me most.
It is when you see social care professionals at work that you get a true picture of the value they bring to society.
I recommend everyone visits the WeCare.Wales website, to see great examples of Welsh citizens being supported by early years and social care professionals.
The video clips express far more than words can provide. These are clips of real people, not actors, and they share their experiences with us all, to highlight the rewards gained from working in this sector.
Citizens explore how invaluable good quality care and support is to them; enabling them to have a good start in life and reach their full potential, no matter how complex their circumstances.
Social Care Wales is working with regional and national partners to lead a national attraction, recruitment and retention campaign.
The sector needs more people with the right values and attitudes – honesty, empathy, love working with people and have a passion for making a difference.
Specific skills can be learned and there are new qualifications for childcare and early years, and health and social care being made available from September 2019 in further education colleges across Wales.
We are keen to attract people of all ages, as well as people previously employed in retail and other sectors that may be facing redundancy, due to decisions to relocate premises or changes in shopping habits.
The provision of care is delivered by local government, voluntary and independent sector providers, many of whom are small and medium sized family businesses.
Care is a growth sector, to meet changing needs and expectations of the Welsh population and to support roll out of the government’s childcare offer.
Jobs in the sector are less likely to be impacted by changes in global economic decisions and can be seen as a long-term career option.
There is a particular shortage of male carers and those with Welsh language skills, so why not look at the website, where there are details of care providers working in your area.
There are jobs available in every part of Wales and career opportunities for those who want to invest in their continuous learning and development.
Most managers working in social care and early years started their careers at the frontline or used their transferable skills from other sectors.
If you think you have what it takes, get further information at WeCare.Wales