Television adverts are being used to try and attract more people to work in the care sector in North Yorkshire.
Four new adverts feature some of the county's front line care workers along with some of the people they care for.
Nick Moxon, who has cerebral palsy is one of those taking part in the adverts, he explains why he wanted to help the campaign.
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 to kickstart a major 2022 North Yorkshire recruitment drive at a critical time for the care sector.
The County Council says that 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.
County Councillor Michael Harrison, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Integration said:
“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,”
“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.
Cllr Harrison adds:
“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,”
“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.”
The county council provides 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”.
The county council's make care matter campaign is attempting to help fill the 1000 care vacancies that exist in the county.
Nick Moxon, says the care sector needs a boost.
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”.
North Yorkshire County Council has 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.
The County Council 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."