If you’re caring, compassionate and want a job making a difference to the lives of others, a career in social care could be for you.

Working in social care is about providing physical, emotional and social support to help people live their lives. For various reasons and at different stages in their lives, some people need support to develop and maintain their independence, dignity and control.

Social care is a huge sector, employing over 1.5 million people. Plus, the sector needs to fill an extra half a million jobs by 2030 to meet the growing demand for services! There are hundreds of different jobs in social care, depending on what you want to do, who you want to work with and where you want to work – making it a great choice for your future career.

Labour Market Information

In recent times, the social care sector has operated under immense pressure and in challenging circumstances. Vulnerable individuals, who rely heavily on social care services, have been at increased risk of contracting Covid-19 and organisations have at times found it difficult to attract and retain workers.

In response, the government has pledged an extra £162.5 million to boost the social care workforce, on top of the £5.4 billion already set aside over the next 3 years.

For those looking to join the social care sector, new recruits have never been in more demand – particularly here in Stockport as we have a higher proportion of older residents in need of care. That makes a career in social care a great option with a range of advantages – from long-term career prospects in the wider healthcare sector, to the flexibility offered from the part-time, evening and weekend shifts needed for a 24/7 industry.

Starting Salary

£14.44 per hour or £16,000
per annum

Typical Salary Range

£16,000 – £55,000
per annum

Working Hours

35 to 40 hours per week, including overnight shifts and weekends

Working in Social Care

To pursue a career in the social care sector, you will need to be able to demonstrate skills like:

  • Communication and Listening skills
  • Good relationship building skills
  • Empathy and understanding
  • Ability to work under pressure and in sometimes challenging situations
  • Good observation and decision making skills
  • A commitment to treating others with dignity and respect
  • Time management and organisation
  • Resilience
  • Team working
  • IT skills

There are lots of different types of jobs in social care and employers can use a range of job titles. The most common are Care Worker, Care Assistant and Support Worker. There are also a range of different workplaces you may be able to provide social care services, including:

  • Care Homes
  • Assisted or Supported Living Facilities
  • Community Centres
  • Health Centres or Clinics
  • Homeless Shelters
  • Hospitals
  • Individuals’ own homes
  • Prisons or probation offices
  • Residential Homes
  • Schools and Colleges
  • Supported Housing

There are other jobs available in a social care setting too – from cleaning and housekeeping to working in the kitchen and serving meals to administration, recruitment or compliance.

There are also opportunities to work in psychology, counselling, occupational therapy, as well as youth and community work, child protection and social work, fostering and adoption.

There are a range of entry routes and levels for a career in the social care sector. In most cases, GCSE passes together with an understanding of a care career or experience caring for a friend or family member is sufficient. Full training (both accredited and on-the-job) will be provided when you start with a new employer.

For specialist or senior level positions, particularly those where you will be working with vulnerable individuals (such as people with physical health needs, mental health issues, safeguarding children or supporting those with problems with substance abuse for example), you will need more advanced qualifications.

A degree isn’t necessary for a lot of jobs in the social care sector, however for some jobs – like social work, psychology and community education – a degree-level qualification may be beneficial.

Apprenticeships in social care are also available from Level 2 (equivalent to GCSEs), as well as college or training courses such as a Level 1 Certificate in Health and Social Care, Level 2 Diploma in Care or a T-Level in Health.

Social care services are growing and changing all the time, which means there are lots of opportunities to grow and progress. There are now new roles that involve social and health care, with structured career paths to work towards.

Internal promotion is common – working your way up the ladder to Senior Carer or Care Home Manager – as well as diversifying into different areas of social care or specialising in supporting a certain type or group of individuals.

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