The government has launched a five-month recruitment campaign to encourage more people in England to take up a role in adult social care.
The “Made with Care” campaign will run across TV advertising and social media and aims to showcase the benefits of a career in social care, including flexible working and training opportunities.
The sector currently faces a chronic shortage of staff, with more than 105,000 vacancies and plans for almost half a million more jobs by 2035.
Unions have warned that many care workers are preparing to leave the sector. From 11 November care homes must only allow individuals who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 into their premises, unless they have a medical exemption.
“We need more people who possess the core values this workforce embody so strongly – kindness, compassion and resilience – to look after our friends and family with dignity and respect,” said health secretary Sajid Javid.
“A career in social care is rewarding and inspiring. Over the next three years we are investing at least £500 million to support the training and development for carers.”
Last month the Unison union said that a pay rise was needed to help “plug the gaping holes in the care workforce”.
“Care homes are closing because they can’t recruit, putting unbearable pressure on other parts of an already-struggling system. And the government’s hopeless ‘no jab, no job’ policy is about to make the situation a whole lot worse,” said general secretary Christina McAnea.
A TV advert, which premiers today (3 November) and will run until 21 November, will be broadcast on ITV, Sky and Channel 4. It shows real care workers carrying out their responsibilities, which the government hopes will inspire people to consider a career in the sector.
The wider recruitment campaign will run until March 2022 and will celebrate how care workers can empower those they care for and highlight the emotional reward of the role. It will also tackle perceived barriers to taking up care work; show the opportunities for training; and highlight the availability of flexible working.
Chief nurse for adult social care Deborah Sturdy said: “I have spent my career working to support others and want to ensure working in care is not just seen as a job but a career opportunity.
“You will meet and work with wonderful people and have the chance to make this is a career you want to stay in for the long term.
“There is the chance to be part of something very special and help both yourselves and others continue to develop a system made with care.”