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Public urged to work in social care with staff ‘urgently needed’

Public urged to work in social care with staff ‘urgently needed’
gloved hand on elderly person's hand holding a walking stick

The Government has today urged the public to join the social care workforce, with additional staff ‘urgently needed’ to plug staffing gaps and offset absence rates surging because of Covid-19.

Jobseekers, volunteers and people on furlough can register their interest for short-term roles such as personal care, providing wellbeing support, collecting and delivering supplies, or helping with cooking and cleaning.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘I am urging the public – whether you are a job-seeker or looking for a new career – to consider working in care.

‘We need short term support while we face the pandemic and to continue to recruit the right people, with the right values, now and into the future,’ he added.

The Government said absences in the adult social care workforce have more than doubled in recent months because of self-isolation, while research published earlier this month found some care providers are reporting over half their staff off work at once.

Individuals who register online will be contacted by care providers directly. Exact roles will be based on experience, local need and local authority and care provider discretion. Experience is not necessary because training is provided.

This comes as the ‘Care for Others. Make a Difference’ advertising campaign launched this week across television, digital and radio. The Department of Health and Social Care said it will highlight the ‘rewarding, varied and flexible’ long-term opportunities in the sector.

Minister for care Helen Whately said: ‘We need more people who want to play their part in this pandemic to choose social care. There are thousands of opportunities, from short-term roles to long-term careers.’

In January, the Government announced that local authorities in England have been given £120m to be spent on addressing the ‘pressing staff shortages’ in social care brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In October last year, Skills for Care estimated that there are 112,000 unfilled posts overall in English social care, equivalent to 7.3% of the workforce.

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