JobsAndCareersSpringIssue2017 - 91

FOCUS :

CARE

HOW MUCH
CAN I EARN?

Starting salaries are close to the national
minimum wage, although you'll get more
for shift work. As a care assistant, you
can expect to start on around £12,500
a year, but this rises significantly for jobs
with more responsibility.

can request a DBS check - job applicants
can't apply for a criminal records check
on themselves.

No barriers to entry

Words: Georgina Maric. Images: Shutterstock. *Source: NHS

Apprenticeships
If you're over 16, then a so-called 'earn
and learn' apprenticeship will give you
an all-round learning experience in
social care. At the end, you'll have a
qualification that will stand you in good
stead when it comes to finding a paid
job in the sector.
You'll work alongside experienced staff,
gaining the skills and knowledge you
need to be a competent and confident
worker. Some care providers, such as
companies running homes and home
carer schemes, have set up their own
apprenticeships, which can lead to jobs.
Anyone over 16 years of age and not
in full-time education can apply for an
apprenticeship - it doesn't matter if
you're just leaving school, have been
working for years or are seeking to start
a new career - and there's no upper age
limit. Most apprenticeships last up to
two years and are work-based, which
means you can develop those important
practical skills.
BTEC apprenticeships have two levels,
Intermediate and Advanced, and involve
a placement in a care home of one to two
years while you study for a qualification.
To do this, you will usually need GCSEs
in English and maths. Previous caring
experience or a proven interest in helping
and supporting others is also desirable. If
you've already taken an Intermediate or
Advanced level apprenticeship and you

You don't need
qualifications to
work in the care
sector, but they'll
help you progress
in your career
want to build and develop your skills and
knowledge, you may want to consider a
Higher or Degree apprenticeship.

Get qualified
You don't need qualifications to work in
the care sector, but they will help you
to progress in your career. You can often
do more training while you're working
- perhaps taking Qualifications and
Credit Framework (QCF) exams in
health and social care. Lower level
qualifications are designed for care
workers, with higher levels intended
for senior practitioners or managers.

Background checks
All care workers are required to have a
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
check, formerly known as a Criminal
Records Bureau (CRB) check. However,
only employers and licensing bodies

Whether you're a school leaver, graduate
looking for long-term opportunities, or
someone looking for a change, a career
in care doesn't discriminate on your age,
qualifications or background.
Although it's probably useful if
you have experience in a caring role,
relevant experience isn't vital. Generally
speaking, companies are looking for the
right people with a caring nature and a
practical, hands-on approach.
Care work can also be a great option if
you want to change career. It's flexible,
meaning it can suit a range of lifestyles
- for instance, if you want to fit it around
your family's needs or another job.
Working with the elderly may not
seem like the obvious choice for a young
person. However, if you can demonstrate
an aptitude to caring and are enthusiastic
and willing to learn, many clients really
appreciate having a young person around
to help them, particularly if they don't
usually get to interact with different age
groups on a day to day basis.
Care can be an excellent career choice,
particularly for school and college
leavers, as it provides stability and a
chance for career development, as well
as personal development.
FIND OUT MORE
* Skills For Care: skillsforcare.org.uk
* Health & Care Professions Council:
hpc-uk.org
* Care UK: careuk.com/gateway-careers
(the UK's largest independent provider
of health and social care)

J O B S & C A R E E R S /// 9 1


http://skillsforcare.org.uk http://www.hpc-uk.org http://www.careuk.com/gateway-careers

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