Encouraging new research by Vida Healthcare has found that nearly 70 per cent of the social care workforce see their future career in social care.
While the majority (63 per cent) of social care workers have not considered a career move, a survey by the specialist dementia care provider has revealed the initiatives that could be put in place by providers and operators to further attract and retain talented workers.
Social care staff cited better pay (65 per cent), more flexible hours (47 per cent) and mental health support (36 per cent) as being key.
With over two fifths of the general public not even considering a career in social care, believing that their skills do not match the role, Vida’s research shows the challenge the sector faces in educating the population about the skills that are required.
In fact, according to the research, the main requirements that are needed to hire strong talent is kindness and compassion – some 67 per cent of workers chose a career in the sector because they enjoy caring for others. Wanting to make a difference (64 per cent) and job satisfaction (50 per cent) were also cited as key reasons.
Vida Healthcare MD James Rycroft said: “Negative news abounds about both health and social care services in the UK, from the government being warned that the sectors are on a precipice, to criticism that the Spring Budget didn’t reference public sector workers. Our research has shown that while there are things that need to be done to support the current workforce and attract new people to work in health and social care, it may not be as bleak as it first appears.
“While experience and/or education is of course important, our ethos at Vida is that anyone can become successful in the social care sector if they are a kind and compassionate person. Ultimately, our job is to care for people and make a difference to their lives.”
Vida has recently increased pay by 30 per cent for a number of roles, including nurses, and points to the success of its training platform Vida Academy and its Aspiring Leaders programme in providing staff with career development opportunities. The provider claims a staff turnover rate of only six per cent, compared to the industry standard of 29 per cent.
Social care staff are a dedicated lot. While they may not be in it for the money, this research makes it clear that if providers considered better pay alongside tangible benefits such as flexible working and better career opportunities, it would go a long way.
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Matt Seex, Editor