MAKE CARE MATTER: North Yorkshire County Council launch new recruitment campaign to urge people to join the social care sector

Care home residents and staff in North Yorkshire have spoken out in support of a recruitment campaign urging people to “make a difference on your doorstep”.

By Lucy Chappell
Friday, 28th January 2022, 11:08 am
Updated Friday, 28th January 2022, 11:42 am

Make Care Matter has been launched by North Yorkshire County Council with the aim of tackling a critical shortfall in workers and changing perceptions of the sector which is enduring a major challenge to attract and retain staff.

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 adverts to kickstart a major 2022 North Yorkshire recruitment drive at a critical time for the care sector.

There are around 1,000 jobs available across the region and those who rely on and work in care have now come together to provide a boost for the campaign.

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Flavia Nyambira has been taken on as an apprentice carer by North Yorkshire County Council and now more people are being targeted as part of the council's Make Care Matter campaign

Councillor Michael Harrison, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Integration, believes the campaign is a step in the right direction.

He 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 and the work that you do really counts towards improving lives and no two days are the same.

“More people work in the social care sector 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.

Make Care Matter has been launched by North Yorkshire County Council with the aim of tackling a critical shortfall in workers and changing perceptions of the sector which is enduring a major challenge to attract and retain staff

“Care workers make a fundamental contribution to our society and they can also join a great career path, with opportunities in every community.

“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 the national Government to review the status of the social care workforce.

Sue Cawthray, Chief Executive of Harrogate Neighbours, has backed North Yorkshire County Council's Make Care Matter campaign and urges anybody who wants a career in care to get involved and help make a difference

Residents across North Yorkshire urged to 'take good care' now Covid restrictions have been lifted

Councillor Harrison added: “It is time for a sea-change.

“We would like to see a national review of pay and status and we want to see proper recognition of care workers as professionals, as we do for doctors and nurses as 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.

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.

However, it is grappling with a 3% 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).

Mike Padgham, ICG Chair, 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 and 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 much more.”

Harrogate Neighbours is an organisation who provide affordable quality care services for elderly people across the Harrogate District and the neighbouring boroughs.

Sue Cawthray, Chief Executive of Harrogate Neighbours, has been working within the sector for over 25 years and urges anybody who wants a career in care to get involved.

She said: “I have seen a change in the care sector over the years and it has been a very interesting time, especially over the last couple of years as we have been challenging so many different things and staff have had a very challenging time too.

“A career in care is more than just a job, it is a job where we employ skilled workers and the people who come to work in this sector have the opportunity to have a career pathway.

“There are so many opportunities to develop and progress within the sector and do other things and we employ care staff who make a difference to people’s lives every single day.

“I think this campaign is amazing and it’s an opportunity to really promote what a fabulous sector it is to work in and the importance that we do day in and day out.

“If you can make a difference in your community, then we actively encourage people to come and join us.”

How you can apply for a job in social care...

People of all ages and backgrounds across the county have made the life-changing step into the care profession.

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.

Whether you are applying for a job in adult social care or just want to find out more about working in the sector and what’s involved, you can find out more and apply for jobs at the Make Care Matter recruitment website.

For more information, visit https://makecarematter.co.uk/