Wales will need thousands more people to work in caring roles with adults and children by 2030 if it is to keep pace with the growing demand for care services and provide support for communities across the country.
A national campaign, WeCare, has been launched today and is a collaboration between Social Care Wales and leading organisations representing social care, early years and childcare in Wales, as well as other national bodies involved in job-seeking and careers advice.
The campaign is part of a long-term strategy to develop the workforces in the care and health sectors over the next decade, to provide a high-quality, seamless services to the people of Wales.
The campaign will highlight the breadth of career opportunities in care, from childminders and nursery practitioners to home care coordinators and care home managers.
As more people in Wales live longer, more will have specific needs that require support inside and outside the home. Projections indicate that around 20,000 more employees will be needed over the next 10 years to answer the growing demands of the population.
Currently, around one in 17 adults in Wales work in social care or early years and childcare, making it a bigger employer than the NHS. But this area of work is still growing.
The WeCare campaign aims to show the variety of roles and career progression opportunities available. By using real care workers, the campaign focuses on the challenges they face, as we as what makes their work rewarding and worthwhile.
Aled Burkitt, a care and support worker for people living with dementia in Monmouthshire, said: “I used to work quote unsociable hours as a chef. But when my son was born, I needed something with more flexibility.
“My grandad had dementia and I saw how his carers supported him and the bond they had. I thought I’d be good at that job and now I support people in the community living with dementia.
“It’s difficult at times. It’s all about building relationships and working out how you can build trust. But walking into the first visit of the day to see a big smile on the faces of the people I support is priceless.”
Julie Morgan, deputy minister for Health and Social Services, said: “In Wales, we are fortunate to have a team of highly-committed and dedicated social care, early years and childcare professionals who go above and beyond every day. From caring and helping our youngest children to develop and thrive, to providing support and compassionate care to adults and older people, they make a huge difference to people’s lives. But we need more people to consider these highly rewarding careers.
“That’s why I’m delighted to support the new WeCare campaign. It’s been designed to showcase the opportunities social care, early years and childcare sectors can offer to all those with the right caring skills and qualities and the support which is available to help them develop and nurture their skills to support the people they assist live full and active lives.
“I am grateful to Social Care Wales and their partners, particularly care workers who have shared their experiences, for their work on this campaign. I hope their stories will inspire people to become our next generation of carers, childcare practitioners, childminders and care assistants.”