England’s care workers feel taken for granted and unappreciated

Half of England’s care workers feel taken for granted by the general public, a survey has found.

The first ever study of 500 care workers carried out by workforce development agency Skills for Care found that only 39% feel their work was appreciated, and many felt there was little understanding of the value of their hard work.

Chair of the agency, Donald Hoodless, said: “We have some difficult challenges ahead of us over the next decade. The fact that a sizeable majority of the people who work in social care in England feel their work is undervalued reinforces the problems we have in making sure their work with some of the most vulnerable people in our society is properly recognised by the general public,” he said.

Donald feared the general public’s “negative” view of care work means it will be difficult to recruit and retain workers.

On a more optimistic note, the survey found 90% of workers were happy in their work and 69% of care workers are now trained to at least NVQ Level 2 and another 11% at level 1.

Earlier last year age concern charities urged the government to provide better training and career paths for care workers.

“It’s worth remembering that 80% qualified staff and only 20% with no qualifications at all is almost the exact opposite of the workforce profile we had before Skills for Care invested time, money and strategic thinking into developing a better trained workforce which will ultimately benefit people who use services,” Donald added.

However, at present there is only a maximum 6% difference in pay rates between qualified and non-qualified staff, which Donald said is “far too low”.

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