Care Sector Vacancies
Last night, Vicky Haines, Kingsway Care’s MD was a panellist at the Brighton Chamber’s Big Debate – Where Have all the People Gone?
Hosted at Brighton Girls School to a sold-out audience, let’s find out what was discussed during the Big Debate.
Question One: Unfulfilled vacancies in the care sector is nothing new but a global pandemic and shortage of foreign labour in the UK is. What needs to happen so that the social care jobs crisis is taken seriously?
Vicky said, “Firstly we need to remove ‘crisis’ from the question. The focus should be working out how we take social care jobs seriously. We have a sector that is fundamental to our communities and can see that the staff within it are being undervalued.
The CareGiver role is seen as unskilled in a sector that often has limited desirability with a predominantly female workforce that have been forced to settle for low wages. Many are also the primary carers at home.
Local Authorities across the country undervalue and underfund home care in the community. We’ve all read the headlines about patients being stuck in hospital beds because there is no care available to support them to return home.
Some Home Care providers are struggling to stay afloat and pay their carers an appropriate wage when Local Authorities set the funding bar so low. On average, many home care providers have to charge 20% more for services than the funds being provided which isn’t sustainable. If you are unable to self-fund and choose your home care provider there is a higher chance of receiving low-quality care.
Question 2: “What do innovation and good practice in recruitment look like to you, at an individual employer level but also in either a sector or region?
Challenging Care Sector Stereotypes
Kingsway Care started during the pandemic with the determination to provide first class home care with a happy, motivated, and valued workforce. Without them we couldn’t provide the type of home care we would want for our loved ones. We recognise our employees are skilled and trained to carry out personal care tasks with sensitivity and a smile. Our Clients look forward to their home care visits and give us great feedback and reviews.
We recruit people from all walks of life and can offer them rewarding work with flexible hours to suit their lifestyles. If they are bighearted, reliable, and competent, we can train them to provide first class home care. We have recruited a retired head teacher, fledgling entrepreneurs, performers, a fisherman, working parents, and students. Most have friends or family that have worked in the care sector or needed care and have witnessed the positive impact of good quality care. All report having a renewed purpose in life and say Kingsway Care feels different to other home care providers. They are valued and appreciated for the important work they do.
CareGiver Recruitment & Retention
We know that without great employees Kingsway Care would not be able to continue. To attract and retain the best CareGivers we do have to pay above the minimum living wage. Besides competitive rates of pay, we offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes an industry first – employee share ownership. Our employees know that with every improved process or job well done they will be contributing to Kingsway Care’s success and will be rewarded.
We listen to our employees’ concerns, build in longer visit times and encourage them to bring their talents to work and have fun with Kingsway Care Clients. That could be anything from baking cakes together, strolling along the seafront, visiting local places of interest, or singing and dancing around the living room. Doing what we can to boost our Clients wellbeing by combating loneliness and isolation is as important as task-based care.
Leaders In Care
Whilst our approach to care is considered innovative, we believe it should be the norm for everyone. As leaders in care, we want to challenge stereotypes and attract more people to consider a career in care.
Take a look at our Meet the CareGivers section to see how proud and motivated our team is to support older and disabled Clients to lead the fulfilling lives they deserve.
Question 3: ‘Where have all the people gone?’
Vicky says, “They are still here within the care sector but need to be considered valuable, highly contributory members of our society, without whom we would be in a far worse situation than we are now.
There is no doubt that members of the public already value the care sector. However, this will not produce change quickly enough! We need government, local authorities, educational settings, and more to acknowledge that without a positive narrative around care work, we will continue to see an exodus of outstanding and experienced care workers.
“Care professionals are a group of people that none of us could do without. One day you may need their support for yourself or a loved one!”