● Campaign launched to tackle growing shortages in care sector
● Housing 21 features real life care workers in campaign to promote roles with national Extra Care provider
Real life care workers are leading a major recruitment campaign to help tackle the shortage within the sector and attract more people to careers in care.
Housing 21, a leading national Retirement Living and Extra Care provider for older people of modest means across England, has unveiled the Your Inner Care Shows You Extra Care campaign. It features four of its own employees and a number of residents.
The drive aims to show how many of us have always had the qualities needed for a career in care and have never thought about how rewarding a career in care could be.
Housing 21’s campaign comes at a challenging time for care. Vacancies in the sector have risen by more than 52 per cent, with one in 10 social care posts unfilled.
“Caring for others is rewarding and something that many people have experience of, even if they don’t realise it. Our campaign looks to highlight how many of us have the potential for a successful career in care. By featuring our own people and residents, we are showing the very real and human side of the job, and hopefully helping people see themselves in the role.
“As an industry we have to help more people see how much potential there is in starting a career in care. We provide all the support and training needed, together with the option of joining our Extra Care Academy providing a clear career pathway into management.”Kris Peach, Executive Director Extra Care at Housing 21
One employee featured in the campaign is Hilary Mitchell who chose a new career in care after 24 years in retail, starting in the evenings with administering medication and settling residents to bed, while continuing with her retail role during the day.
After realising that working two jobs was too much, Hilary took on a full-time role at Housing 21’s Walstead Court in Crawley, she said.
“I wish I had known about Housing 21 when I left school. Considering I had never done anything like care work, the application process was extremely easy and the managers were so helpful and encouraging, they made me feel comfortable about my lack of experience and told me how much they were looking forward to teaching me.
“After five years of working two jobs, I realised I was extremely tired of working in retail and nothing about the role was fulfilling – Walstead Court was where I wanted to be. Seeing the residents smile and giving you a hug is so rewarding, it has such a positive effect on your mindset.
“We’re a small court and Care Team but we are so close, the team really makes the job so much easier. I’m now an Assistant Care Manager, but I still choose to do my 10 hours of care work a week, which I love. The residents confide in you, you are like their family and for some, we’re the only family they have.”Hilary Mitchell
Housing 21 is leading the way in ensuring care is seen as a career with lots of potential and not just a job. The provider pays at least 10 per cent above National Living Wage.
Earlier this year it launched a first-of-its-kind Extra Care Academy. The Academy offers Care Workers a training route into management roles, with the potential to earn £50k+ salaries. The first cohort began last month.