People in the care frontline head major county recruitment campaign

This story was published 20 January 2022

Front line care workers in North Yorkshire, as well as the people they care for, have come together to call for more people to step forward and join the care workforce.

Flavia

The voices, images and film of people who use care services and those who work in care, across the county, will fill the airwaves and appear in TV ads from this week (Jan 20th) to kickstart a major 2022 North Yorkshire recruitment drive at a critical time for the care sector.

People of all ages and all backgrounds use care services and work as care professionals in North Yorkshire and the need for more people to join the sector has never been so great and the career opportunities never been so many.

“This is both a critical and an opportune time for people to join the care workforce and to build a rewarding career for themselves in this vitally important work,” said County Councillor Michael Harrison, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Integration. “From the word go, you can make a big difference to somebody’s life in this job; the work that you do really counts towards improving lives and no two days are the same.”

The recruitment drive comes at a time when the county council is calling for a sea-change in the status of the social care workforce. “More people work in social care than in the NHS, around the clock in people’s homes, in care homes and other services, supporting people and changing lives for the better,” said Cllr Harrison. “They make a fundamental contribution to our society and they can also join a great career path, with opportunities in every community. You can make a difference on your doorstep.

“We have launched this recruitment drive to bolster the care workforce at a time when we need care workers more than ever before. It is also a chance to celebrate the great work that care workers do by using their voices – and those of people who use care services - for this campaign.”

We provide training, flexibility, practical help and clear career progression but is now calling for national government to review the status of the social care workforce.

Cllr Harrison said: “It is time for a sea-change.  When we clapped for carers at the height of the pandemic in 2020 , that wasn’t just about the NHS, important as that is. More people work in social care than in the NHS and they work around the clock, just like the NHS, often in people’s homes.

“We would like to see a national review of pay and status. We want to see proper recognition of care workers as professionals, as we do for doctors and nurses: their roles are just as vital”.

By way of saying thank you to the care workforce the county council, along with the county’s two NHS integrated care systems, is  making a one-off pay bonus of around £300 to each of North Yorkshire’s 16,000 frontline care workers, paid between now and March.

Cllr Harrison said: “Care professionals are a great and diverse band of people who do fantastic work across the county to make life better in whatever way they can for people: our neighbours, our family members, our friends.

“It is far more than just a job.

“It’s about building relationship and supporting people, often with fascinating life stories, to live well and with dignity. And at crisis points in people’s lives, it is about providing care and compassion and help”.

We have for many years managed social care recruitment both for its own workforce and for the county’s independent and voluntary sector providers. But it is grappling with a three per cent contraction in the overall workforce due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and fierce labour market competition at a time of unprecedented demand on the sector.

As a result it has stepped up a targeted recruitment campaign in two phases – the first last November, which attracted 450 applicants who are currently going through the recruitment process, with the main thrust of the campaign to begin this month.

Our campaign has been backed by the region's provider organisation, The Independent Care Group (ICG).

ICG Chair, Mike Padgham said: "The shortage of staff in the social care sector is becoming critical and we are pleased to work with the county council and support its campaign to bring more people into this very rewarding, vital service.

"We are also delighted to work with the county council in putting forward the bonus initiative that each carer is to receive this year.

"The  name of the campaign says it all, as care does matter, very, very much. We have to work together to bring more people into this wonderful sector and to persuade the Government that it needs to support the sector more.

All sorts of people across the county have made this life-changing step into the care profession, from builders and retail workers to accountants, young graduates and parents wanting flexible but rewarding work.

Take Flavia Nyambira who features in the new recruitment campaign.

Flavia has worked for the last four years helping people who have come out of hospital or experienced a physical or mental difficulty, to get back on their own feet in their own home. 

She came into the care profession after 11 years working in the British Army as a postal and courier service operator in Germany.  When Flavia was posted back to Catterick with her soldier husband and their three children she started to look for work that she could fit around her family. 

She said: “I absolutely loved being a care worker from day one and in this job I am supported and given every opportunity to do the work to the best of my ability.” 

Flavia was taken on under our apprenticeship scheme and is currently working to complete her NVQ level 3, which will give her the qualification to become a team leader.  

She said: “I don’t just have a job, I have a career and I am learning while I am working.” Flavia is given one day a week to complete her studies and is considering going on to become a social worker in the long term. 

“The rewards of being in the care profession are huge.  

“I support people with care and encouragement and the right equipment to regain confidence to do things for themselves again.  It’s so great to see the look of happiness on their faces when they can get back their independence.  

“Everybody we care for has a story to tell and it’s good to be a listening ear when they are going through a difficult situation.  

“I support people of all ages. You always have that satisfaction knowing every day that you have done something worthwhile for somebody.” 

Cllr Harrison said:  “There is a great career to be had in care and great stability and we support people who join us with career development. Many who start on the frontline with no previous qualifications can progress to become team leaders, moving into management and professional roles such as social workers, occupational therapists, nurses and public health consultants.”

Across the county North Yorkshire has 20,000 people working in the care sector, from the 13,000 care and support workers in 500 organisations providing services in residential care and people’s homes through to social workers, project managers and administrators.

On any given day there are at least 1,000 jobs available across the county.

You can find out more and apply for jobs across the care sector directly on our Make Care Matter recruitment website