A record numbers of candidates have considered a career in social care over the past month, the government has claimed.
More than 28,000 people have expressed an interest in working in the sector, which has been blighted by the Baby P scandal, by registering their details on government-funded website UK Homecare Association (UKCHA).
The news comes after Personnel Today reported that some local authorities were running with social worker vacancy rates of up to 25% in children’s services, with the work largely being covered by temporary staff.
Care services minister Phil Hope said the new figures were encouraging for an industry notorious for recruitment and retention problems. He said: “More and more people are considering a career in social care, which is brilliant news. Not only does it give people the chance to make a real difference to someone else’s life, it also offers great opportunities for career progression.”
Last week the Department of Health launched a new careers scheme, which will offer 50,000 jobs in social care for young people aged 18 to 24 who have been unemployed for six months or more.
Employers are offered a recruitment subsidy of £1,000 plus free pre-employment training for every young person they recruit through the scheme.
But HR directors have warned that a lack of on-the-job training and supervision, and a low focus on continuing professional development, were among the issues contributing towards people either being put off working in the sector, or leaving after a short length of time.
Personnel Today has previously reported how the media’s portrayal of the Baby P case was adding to the sector’s high staff turnover.