Inspiring young people to consider roles in the social care sector

With the pandemic disproportionately affecting young people’s employment prospects, national employability and life skills charity Working Options in Education has secured funding from The Connolly Foundation to inspire 14-19 year olds in Bedfordshire to consider career opportunities in social care – a sector often overlooked by young people, but one of the few which is growing.

Rachel Roxburgh, Strategic Lead at Working Options in Education says: “Working Options in Education has been delivering a free employability and life skills programme in schools and colleges and online for 10 years.

“We are excited to be adding social care professionals to our network of industry volunteers to inspire and motivate 14-19 year olds about opportunities in this sector.”

Vanessa Connolly, Trustee, The Connolly Foundation adds: “We’re delighted to be providing a grant of £55,000 over three years to Working Options in Education to increase young people’s awareness of employment opportunities in the growing social care sector.

“This will enable the charity to significantly expand its successful Insight from Industry sessions in schools and colleges in Bedfordshire.

“Students will also be actively encouraged to apply to our bursary scheme to support them in gaining qualifications in social care.”

In recent years, job growth in the social care sector has been minimal but vacancy rates have remained higher than average (7.3% in in England) with jobs hard to fill.

However, the growth of the ageing population is likely to stimulate further demand and adult social care is one of the few sectors where jobs are increasing, offering significant numbers of long-term career opportunities in the current job market.

If the adult social care workforce grows at the same rate as the projected number of people aged 65 and over in the population, then the number of adult social care jobs will increase by 32% (or by 520,000 jobs) to around 2.17 million jobs by 2035.

With lots of different roles and plenty of opportunities to progress, social care is a great opportunity for young people to consider.