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.
To help attract more people to work in care, a national campaign called WeCare has been launched today.
It 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 service to the people of Wales.
The campaign will highlight the breadth of career opportunities in care, from childminders and nursery practitioners to home care co-ordinators 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 works in social care or early years and childcare (around 113,000 people), 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 well as what makes their work rewarding and worthwhile.
Aled Burkitt from Monmouthshire works as a care and support worker for people living with dementia. He says: “I used to work quite 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.”
Amanda Calloway has been working as a childminder for 12 years. She says: “I used to work in banking, in quite a stressful role, but after having my children, I decided to look into childminding temporarily.
“Twelve years later I’m still at it. It’s allowed me to access education alongside running my business and as I work from home, it’s flexible enough to fit around my life.
“I enjoy running and being outdoors, so I take the children to the nature reserve, the woods or the beach as much as possible. It’s a rewarding career, even though it’s hard work. To have the opportunity to shape the future of children’s lives is fantastic.”
For more information about some of the roles available and to see examples of real people who work in Wales and those they support, visit WeCare.wales. This website will be updated frequently, with further details and useful information.