With GCSE and A-level results days approaching quickly and many young people across the county thinking about the next steps in their careers, Devon County Council and NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group have launched the latest Proud to Care Devon recruitment campaign to encourage them to consider roles in health and social care.
The latest campaign raises awareness of the varied careers possible in Devon and highlights the different pathways that young people can take, from school and college to vocational courses and university degrees.
The importance of health and social care workers has become even more apparent since coronavirus. Thousands of vulnerable people have relied on their care under very challenging circumstances. And with identified workforce shortages in certain sectors, the Proud to Care Devon campaign is seeking to attract 16 to 25-year olds in particular to the sector.
Philippa Slinger, lead chief executive for Together For Devon, the county's Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, said:
"There has never been a better time to explore a career in health and social care.
"Every day in Devon we are witnessing the incredible work of those who make a real difference to lives people's lives across the community, both in frontline roles and behind the scenes.
"The NHS would not be able to function without these inspirational teams and there is so much choice and opportunity available, I would encourage all those who are making important choices now about their careers to see the wide range available, from nursing and social work to occupational therapy and managerial roles.
"There are great opportunities for work that is so much more than just a job and with real prospects to develop and progress."
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “I’m glad that we’re able to raise awareness of the many, varied and rewarding education and career opportunities available in health and social care across the county.
“Health and social care workers do vital work to help all residents in Devon and it’s good to see young people especially, are being inspired to consider roles in the sector as they begin to think about their future careers.
“There are so many different roles and pathways into health and social care, and I would encourage anyone thinking about it, to visit the Proud to Care Devon website to find out more information.”
Councillor Jackie Stockman, Torbay Council's Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health, said:“Helping someone experience a better quality of life is so rewarding, and by working in a health and social care role you would experience this every day.
“With results day fast approaching, and if you are still feeling like you are not sure what to do next, please take a look at the Proud to Care website and read the stories of those who were in your shoes but now work in roles that really make a difference.”
Councillor Kate Taylor, Plymouth City Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “Given the chance we would all like to make a difference and have a positive impact on somebody’s life, choosing a career in health and social care is incredibly rewarding.
“Every day, you’re helping someone in need and making their lives that little bit easier. And knowing that you make a difference to their day provides a real sense of achievement that’s difficult to experience in any other role”.
Social worker, Cameron, who works in Newton Abbot, always knew he wanted to inspire change. After studying sociology at A-level he went on to study Social Work Education at Gloucester University. Find out more about Cameron’s story.
“The best part of my job has to be the positive outcomes you can achieve for young people. You can help build a young person’s faith and confidence in themselves to live a more independent life. I would encourage anyone who wants to make a difference to do some volunteering and just give it a go. Be brave!”
Hannah, a podiatrist working in North Devon, didn’t know what she wanted to do but after gaining work experience in a care home when she left school she decided on a career in podiatry. After doing an Access to Higher Education Course she went on to study podiatry at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Read more about Hannah’s story.
“I left school at 18 with an A-level in Health and Social Care. I had no idea what I wanted to do but I knew that I wanted to help people. You just have to believe in yourself. Anyone can do it if they’re interested so don’t ever think that it isn’t possible!”
Registered manager, Lou, manages two care homes in Newton Abbot and Plymouth, for adults with learning disabilities, mental health conditions and challenging behaviour. She didn’t know what she wanted to do after she left school but wanted a role caring for people. She first became a support worker, soon progressing to senior support worker, deputy manager and now manager. Find out more about Lou’s story.
“Throughout my time at school I didn’t really know what I wanted to do…now I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else. The best bit of my job is the positive impact and change that I can drive forward. It’s great to see what our service users can achieve despite their learning disabilities. I also love being able to inspire staff to achieve the best that they can. Take the baby steps and work hard and the sky’s the limit! There are so many different areas and opportunities available as well – so you’ll find something that suits you.”