Nationally, only 16 per cent of care workers are male. The reason for this is unclear but in Cambridgeshire the shortage of male carers is sometimes due to preference and choice of the person in need of care (Client) or their family members.
For example, some employers have a large number of applicants for male carer roles, but no work to give them.
In order to overcome these challenges, there needs to be a change in how people perceive care work - not only from the point of view of a potential carer, but also from the point of view of the client themselves.
Changing the culture of our workforce; and the stigma and perception of male carers - can be achieved by highlighting how rewarding a career in care can be, financially, personally and professionally. It can also be done by showing clients and their families that, regardless of gender, male care workers provide the same level of service as female workers.
Recruiting for the care sector has been a challenge for several years. A significant contributory factor is the increasingly ageing population, which is growing more rapidly than the workforce. Recent national studies suggest that the shortfall could be as high as 718,000 care workers by 2025.
It is predicted that the number of people over 85 will double in the next 20 years and one in five people currently over 85 will live to see their 100th birthday.
Nationally, changes in legislation have seen a significant shift in the delivery of adult social care, with older people empowered to be supported at home as opposed to alternative care provisions.
Cambridgeshire was the fastest growing county in England between 2001 and 2011, and growth within the county is expected to continue. These factors contribute to the increasing demand on the Adult Social Care sector workforce and the need to build a capable workforce able to meet the needs of the growing population.
In order to overcome the recruitment and retention challenges, some domiciliary care employers have introduced a number of changes to the way they work in order to recruit and retain their staff. They are also offering better working conditions for their employees to improve retention rates.
- Start-up car loans and electric bicycles schemes
- Guaranteed contractual hours
- Increased pay ranging from £7.50 going upwards depending on experience
- Some offer weekly pay instead of monthly pay
- 2-4 weekly paid comprehensive inductions to ensure that people are not waiting long before they start work. This is essential in order to properly equip workers with the knowledge and skills they need for the job
- Allowance for Disclosure Barring Service checks
- 12 weeks probation and competency checks with ongoing support
- Mobile phone allowance
- Uniform allowance
- Holiday allowance based on the contracted hours for any care worker.
- Call monitoring system
- Refer a friend scheme ranging from £100 which is paid after the worker has completed their probation period
- Annual family fun days
NB. The above could vary for each individual employer.
Anyone interested in becoming a male care worker should contact providers below:
Contact name: Carorlyn Riglen
Telephone Number: 01480 218300
Email: [email protected]
Facebook Page: Beaumont Healthcare
Contact name: Kirsty Stoughton
Telephone Number: 01480 478700
Email Address: [email protected]