What is health and social care?

At a very simple level, Healthcare is looking after people with physical or mental health difficulties, whilst Social Care is looking after those who are vulnerable and at risk in society. The key word to focus on is ‘care’ as you try to work out which aspect of these careers you might prefer: it’s a lot broader than you might imagine.

Have you considered a career in this sector?

Do you love people? Are you willing to undertake a variety of tasks, often unplanned, to contribute to the well-being of residents and to support team members? Are you flexible and adaptable? If you can answer yes to these questions, a career in the care sector may well be worth exploring.

Variety of roles

In addition to the variety of care roles, there are seemingly unrelated opportunities which can also come within this sector: exactly as Access to Music talked about allied careers (e.g. sound engineers) in a recent blog, so a huge range of additional careers exist within the care industries.

St Monica Trust in Bristol, for example, offer a wide variety of opportunities. In addition to colleagues working directly in care roles, the Trust also employ housekeepers, catering staff, physiotherapists, activity co-ordinators, gardeners, maintenance personnel, administration and marketing staff to name just a few.

The Trust have been recognised as a leader in customer service and resident care within the UK Healthcare sector in an annual Hospitality Assured assessment. This is the quality standard created by the Institute of Hospitality specifically for customer facing businesses and their report said “There exists within the St Monica Trust a strong desire to achieve high levels of excellence in all that the organisation attempts to do.”

Qualifications

There are many routes into care careers locally, from BTEC Health & Social Care in Sixth Form, apprenticeships, and did you know you can apply for a role with St Monica Trust from the age of 16 in view of the level of training and learning involved? There’s also the higher education pathways such as a BSc (Hons) degree in Health & Social Care Management at City of Bristol College: https://www.careersnearhere.com/academic/entry/1746/.

And what about work experience?

We asked Becky Griffin at St Monica Trust for her thoughts on work experience. Becky heads up the work experience programme and she told us: “When I left school I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I tried some work experience in different settings and that gave me an idea about what I enjoyed. It’s a good idea to try some different roles and see how you like it.”

Gareth who is a head chef for the Trust started on work experience and has been supporting work experience placements in catering, hospitality and customer service. Completing his work experience with the Trust was a start into catering and he wouldn’t have pursued it as a career without this work experience. Someone put the time and effort into developing his catering skills and, says Becky, “it’s important that we put this same effort into developing others”.

To demonstrate that commitment, St Monica Trust placed 50 people in a work experience placement during 2016 and in some cases this led to people then applying for permanent employment with the Trust. Work experience opportunities are on the St Monica Trust website as well as on Careersnearhere.com here: https://www.careersnearhere.com/other-local-career-sectors/health-social-care/

Becky’s tips when applying for job opportunities

Before you start, make sure you read the job description and see if it’s the right job for you. Then do some research into the organisation that you are applying to so you know that you want to work for them and that you’ve got what they’re looking for.

When you apply, make sure you sell yourself on the application form, taking time to explain why you are applying for the role and what you can offer the organisation.

The job description will highlight the skills you need for the role so make sure you can evidence how you meet each of these in your application. Some employers focus on this information, and if you don’t write much evidence in it, you may not be short listed.

Opportunities in 2017

2017 will be an exciting year for St Monica Trust as they will be looking at and developing an apprenticeships programme within the organisation. If you would like to talk to Becky about work experience opportunities at St Monica Trust in a wide variety of roles, then please contact her on 0117 949 4503 or at [email protected].

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