Focus on care
The care sector is a big industry in Essex and, with an ageing population, more and more jobs are becoming available across the sector.
What could I do in care?
The care sector is one of the most rewarding industries to work in, allowing you to make a real difference to the people who need it most in your community, and developing true friendships along the way. Working in care is all about providing personal and practical support to help people live their lives.
There are lots of different roles regardless of what you want to do, who you want to work with and where you’d like to work. You could be supporting someone with a physical disability, autism, dementia or a mental health condition. You could be working in a care home, out in your local community, in a hospital or from someone’s home.
- 'There aren't real career opportunities' - Most companies will invest training into their staff to help them grow and to support your career. If you're dedicated and have a good attitude, there is plenty of potential for promotion.
- 'Care is a badly paid and the staff aren't valued' = All employers must pay the living wage, but many social care employers pay more to show how they value their staff and could offer better training opportunities than other industries. The salary of an entry level care assistant can be up to £16,000 or more which is often higher than starting salaries in other sectors.
Top skills employers are looking for
- Care Planning
- Disability Support
- Working with Learning Disabilities
- Cleaning & Sanitation
- Supervisory Skills
Top jobs advertised in Essex
- Personal Care Assistant
- Social Worker
- Support Worker
- Auxiliary Nurse
- Home Manager
- Activities Coordinator
- Equality and Diversity Officer
Care: the numbers
Example job roles
Example entry job roles:
A great thing about care work is that you don't always need any formal qualifications to start with - it's the personal qualities that matter like compassion or patience. Often, you'll receive more formal training that you'll need to be able to do your job and work to a higher level. Here are some of the roles you could find yourself working in - click the job titles to learn more about the role.
Activities Coordinator: £16k - £26k+ Activity coordinators are responsible for developing an activity plan for care home or hospital residents which will stimulate new interests and skills, support their individual needs and enrich their day-to-day living. You will also often help deliver some of the activities yourself so this is a great role for someone who is social and considerate.
Care Worker: £12k - £18k+ Simple tasks like getting food or making the bed can make a lot of difference to those who can't do it for themselves. Care assistants make everyday-life a lot easier for those who need support the most. Being empathetic is really important as the needs of the individual will be very different person to person - you could be working with several different people in an average week, or be a more permanent assistant to someone with a mental health condition, a physical disability or an older person for example.
Community Development Worker: £15k - £26k+ Community development workers look to improve the communities people live in. You'll act as the link between communities and a range of other local authorities and voluntary organisations to help address social and financial challenges that residents face.
Further job roles:
Professional qualifications are just as important in the care sector as with any other industry. If you're looking to get into specialist role, nationally recognised certifications are usually required. Your employer may be able to support you in earning your qualification to either help you get a specialist role or to move into one.
Psychotherapist: £27k - £34k+ A psychotherapist has a great understanding of the mind and how mental health, circumstance and traumatic events can all affect someone's happiness. They are trained to listen and identify the cause of the issues so that the patient can find support on resolving them.
Social Worker: £26k - £33k+ Social workers work with individual people or families to support them through difficult times and make sure that they are safe. They offer information and advice to families to help them through a range of personal barriers such as: financial, mental/physical health conditions or legal issues.
Care Manager: £25k - £45k+ The position of a care manager is a front-line leadership role, often within a residential care setting. You'll be responsible for all aspects of the operations, including recruiting and managing staff teams, managing budgets and ensuring that the quality of the services are satisfactory to the residents and meet national standards.
My experience: working in social care
I started my career in care at a very young age, volunteering at weekends and school holidays in a care home for people with Learning Disabilities and Mental Health challenges. At 16, I left school and started an NVQ level 3 in Health and Social Care. That meant at 17, I could start a professional qualification as a Registered Nurse (for Mental Health) at University.
Care is open to everyone though, so you don't always need a University degree or start working very early - there are a lot of fantastic opportunities in Care. Now, I'm the Managing Director of my own business, Aldanat Care. Whatever your age, you can have a really rewarding experience in the care sector and build your career whilst making a difference to real people in your community. - Daniel, Aldanat Care
Dan's advice for getting into the sector: "The great thing about this sector is that you can make a start now, many people already have experience of caring for someone on a personal level and these skills are extremely valuable to employers in the care sector". If you are interested in the care sector, you can learn more from sites like: www.communitycare.co.uk or www.skillsforcare.org.uk.
Want to find your start in care?
Care UK explains the ins-and-outs of the care sector and how you could join a care home too