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Becoming a Care Worker

In some instances, care related roles will involve working with children or vulnerable adults. However, generally most care worker roles will focus on helping elderly individuals.

If you’re caring, compassionate and enjoy helping others you may have already thought of pursuing a career within care. Below we have outlined some of the key aspects to consider before working as a care worker.

What does a care worker do?

As a care worker or domiciliary carer you will typically be working in residential care homes or in an individual’s own home to assist clients in carrying out their daily activities.

Duties of a care worker may include:

· Providing companionship

· Accompanying on appointments, shopping trips and social events

· Supporting with mobility and other physical activities

· Monitoring medication and support feeding

· Organising and carrying out work around the house

· Assisting with personal care such as toilet duties, washing and dressing

Who makes a good carer?

It may seem obvious but being caring, a good listener and enjoying helping others is extremely important when working in the care industry. Many carers work in a physically demanding and fast-paced environment where remaining positive, enthusiastic and compassionate during long shifts becomes second nature.

In many cases you will be working with other carers to carry out your duties, here teamwork and communication skills will be important. When you are required to work alone, it will be vital to be able to prioritise your workload, stay calm in stressful situations and use your initiative.

You will also need to be able to pass a criminal record check through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). For more information on DBS checks, click here

What qualifications do I need to be a carer?

Although most entry level positions do not require any previous experience or job-related qualifications, it is important to possess good English and Numeracy skills – Remember you will need to be able to complete care plans and read medication updates amongst other tasks.

It will also be useful to complete a course in manual handling or health and social care. Through our Building Better Opportunities programme, Business 2 Business can help you to enrol onto relevant courses, which will give you an insight into the industry, improve your confidence and provide hands-on experience.

How much will I get paid?

Most entry level care assistants will get paid in accordance with National Minimum Wage. However, it is possible to earn more by working nights, weekends and by being a driver.

You can also earn more by progressing onto being a senior carer, care manager and supporting on-call services.

Challenges of being a care worker

It is always important to remember that working in care can be tremendously rewarding and fulfilling. On the other hand, you should be mindful that it is almost never glamourous. For example, according to the All Age Market Position Statement 2020, the number of people aged 65 and over unable to manage at least one self-care activity on their own in 2020 was 12,428. This is expected to increase by 40% to 17,441 by 2035. Whatever employers tell you at interview stage, a large part of your role will be to assist with personal care.

What does the future hold for the care industry?

The ONS estimate that by 2038, 24.2% of the population in the UK will be over 65, compared to 18.3% in 2018. An increasingly aging population identifies that the demand for care services and subsequently care workers will inevitably continue to grow. Therefore, unlike other sectors that have faced turmoil in times of economic downturn such as the financial crisis in 2007-2008 and arguably the Coronavirus pandemic, the care industry has only seen an increase in the number of employees required. Could this mean working in care provides job security and longevity?


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