As the WE CARE WALES campaign celebrates its first birthday, Coleg Gwent are playing an active role in the celebrations and helping ‘spread the word’ this month.
If you haven’t come across We Care Wales, and because they’re still relatively new that may be the case, we want to tell you exactly what this brilliant initiative does with its focus on career progression within the social care sector.
They’re celebrating this first year by launching a campaign to help change perceptions of what care jobs involve and encourage more people to choose a career in care. Around one in 17 adults in Wales work in the sector, making it a larger employer than the NHS. However, the growing demand for care services means that an estimated 2,000 additional people a year are needed to work in the sector by 2030.
Many people believe that working in the sector involves a lot of personal and direct care, that it’s low skilled work with little reward. Those involved in the next stage of the campaign are hoping to change such perceptions by highlighting what makes their job worthwhile, the various progression routes available and the ability to gain qualifications while you work.
One person who chose a career in care is Abbi-Lee Davies, Head of Service for residential care at M&D Care, she said……..
“I was unhappy in my previous job. I desperately needed to change my career and saw a vacancy for a support worker. I didn’t have any qualifications to work in care, but I’ve since been able to do my qualifications while I work.”
“People think that working in care is a low-skilled job with lots of personal care, but it’s a profession. I’ve been able to build on my career over the last seven years by taking part in a fast-track management scheme. I’m now responsible for overseeing the management of residential homes. This includes managing the staff and making sure the residents are happy and progressing with their programmes. It’s definitely opened doors for me.”
Martin Katawaluwa is a Residential Child Care Manager. Martin took a part time role as a care worker in a residential children’s home while studying for his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 2006.
“I believed my career would take a certain path after my Master’s, however what I found is that I enjoyed working in care so much, I stayed. I progressed through the ranks and now I’m a manager of a home with children between 11 and 18-years-old and have completed another Master’s degree in leadership.”
“Working in the social care sector isn’t without its challenges. There can be difficult days, but for the right person it can be a very rewarding career. You’ve got to be someone who understands people and genuinely want to help them and make a difference while putting your own needs aside.”
Coleg Gwent are also playing an important role in the WE CARE WALES campaign.
Izzy Evren and Tyne Hughes are both second year Health and Social Care learners at Coleg Gwent’s Pontypool campus. They were filmed by the We Care Wales team helping a local couple to improve their digital skills, as part of a work placement with a leading Newport homecare provider, Bluebird Care. This footage will be shared across a wide range of social media channels and in standard advertising sources, highlighting just how well their learners are doing within this valuable area of work and how much these skills are needed.
Izzy told us……..
“It’s been really exciting to be involved in the We Care Wales campaign. It was great to be able to share some of the digital skills we’ve learnt at Coleg Gwent while on work placement. I think the campaign is really important as it shows all the good work that happens in the social care sector and the positive difference it makes to people’s lives.”
The We Care Wales campaign has been supported in Gwent through the Gwent Care Career Pathway, a partnership initiative that supports the development, qualification and recruitment of Health and Social Care workers across the region. The groups working together to make the Gwent Care Career Pathway a success include Coleg Gwent, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Torfaen, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire and Newport councils, plus independent providers of social care. Coleg Gwent’s contribution towards this initiative has even encompassed its design students, who recently designed Gwent Care Career Pathway’s current logo!
Over the past 18 months The Gwent Care Career Pathway has supplemented classroom learning with varied work experience opportunities to support students to develop the skills and experience necessary to take up much needed roles in health and social care.
Hanna Ross is Gwent Regional Partnership Employment Officer. She told us……..
‘When we heard the focus of the next We Care Wales campaign was going to focus on qualifications and career progression we knew this would be the perfect opportunity for us to be involved. The video We Care Wales has produced perfectly captures the work we are undertaking with Coleg Gwent students to raise the profile of social care here in Gwent and create the workforce of the future.’
Look out for the brilliant We Care Wales campaign throughout March. To see the video featuring Coleg Gwent’s leaners and to find out more about careers available within the health and social care sector go here. WE CARE
For more information about Health and Social Care courses at Coleg Gwent go here. COURSES