£3m government campaign launches to attract more care workers
The care sector is facing an ongoing carer shortage and, in an attempt to recruit thousands more care workers into the sector, the government is targeting younger people with their latest recruitment campaign “Every Day is Different”.
But some charities have warned that this campaign is unlikely to have the desired impact. Ministers are yet to deliver on promises made about care reforms two years ago and for the overdue recruitment drive to land well, changes need to be made to improve care worker benefits and working conditions2.
Without any real progress and improvement to the core benefits that attract new care workers to the sector, the campaign could fall a bit short.
However, for your care home or home care business, this is still positive and overall the campaign is being welcomed by the sector2. Any initiative to make recruitment easier in a sector that really struggles is a good thing. Looking at how your business can improve its offering to new staff could help you maximise the impact of the campaign.
Why are younger people being targeted as care workers?
The Every Day is Different recruitment drive runs for two months over February and March and highlights the rewarding nature of care work, and how each day differs from the next. It focuses on personal stories from young people who have developed their careers in the care sector.
The campaign will cost The Department for Health and Social Care around £3m in advertising and will be delivered through social media and online platforms. The campaign asks people of all ages to consider a care role, but is mainly targeted at the under 40s and promotes care worker, therapist and activity co-ordinator roles.
Research shows that younger people are the most likely to work within the care sector and it has been widely recognised that the care sector needs a long term plan to deal with the ageing population, in order to cope with future demand.
Skills for Care estimate that if the adult social care workforce continues to grow at the same rate to keep up with demand, there will be another 350,000 care jobs needed by 2030, an increase of 21%5.
Health and care recruitment isn’t just a problem for care homes
It’s worth mentioning that the recruitment problem isn’t isolated to care workers, although care worker roles are most affected. 400,000 care workers leave the sector each year and the turnover rate has increased from 27.82%2 to 30.7% which is more than twice the industry average of around 15.5%4.
There has also been a decline in other health and care staff numbers. Nurses and health visitors working in community health services have continued to fall, and by July 2018 had declined by 1.2%. While numbers of hospital based doctors is on the up, as of September 2018, GPs numbers fell by 1.6% which is the equivalent of 450 full time doctors2.
What can you do to help recruitment?
Hopefully this campaign will have an impact on your business with an increased interest in care roles. This could make recruitment a bit easier, but only time will tell.
Without any changes being made to working conditions across the sector by government, there are things that you can do to help retain new staff. In a time of uncertainty around Brexit, cut care budgets and an ageing population, it’s increasingly important to make sure you hold onto your most experienced and valuable staff.
Retaining your care staff should be a high priority. By improving holiday entitlements, considering flexible working hours, offering continued training and development and offering an employee assistance program you can help create an environment where care staff are happy to remain.