NEC Birmingham |  09 - 10 October 2024

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25 Jun 2024

Care Show’s Session Spotlight

Care Show’s Session Spotlight
This month’s session highlight will shine a spotlight on a panel session of esteemed speakers in the People, Workforce & Wellbeing Theatre on Day 2 of the event. ‘The future workforce: inspiring the next generation to choose careers in care’

Each month’s bulletin features a session highlight from Care Show London 2024, with a summary and audio recording for all readers to access.  

This month’s session highlight will shine a spotlight on a panel session of esteemed speakers in the People, Workforce & Wellbeing Theatre on Day 2 of the event. 

‘The future workforce: inspiring the next generation to choose careers in care’  


Hannah Montgomery, Founder & Marketing and Care Lead, Graces Cares  


Thomas Vaughan, Registered Manager - Tamworth Home Care 

Sadie Torres, Project Learning Coordinator - Guided Innovation 

Alex Ball, Operations Manager - Stow Healthcare 

Megan Knight, Carer - Caroline Care for You Ltd 


In this engaging and insightful panel discussion, we heard the speakers delve into their unique journeys within the social care sector, the strategies for recruiting and retaining the next generation of social care workers, and the significant impact that altering perceptions can have on the industry.  

The session began with introductions from each panellist, sharing their backgrounds and roles within the social care sector. Tom, a Registered Manager at a domiciliary care agency, described his journey from care assistant to his current position. Sadie, who started in the care sector whilst still in school, has since moved into a technology role to help improve systems in care homes. Alex, from a nursing and residential care organisation, recounted her 12-year progression from Kitchen Assistant to Operations Manager, highlighting her involvement in transforming failing care homes. Megan, a Care Assistant, shared her passion for working directly with clients and the varied daily experiences her role offers. 

The discussion then moved towards strategies for recruiting the next generation into the social care workforce. Alex emphasised the importance of proactive engagement with younger people as potential recruits, as opposed to waiting for them to reach out. She highlighted the success of interactive, hands-on outreach experiences including demonstrations like infection control exercises to make the job more relatable and memorable for students. Sadie added that leveraging social media to share positive personal stories and experiences could significantly impact younger audiences and attract them towards a care career. She also pointed out the potential of technology within the care sector, which is often overlooked by young people. 


The panellists collectively agreed that combating the stigma around social care is crucial. Sadie mentioned the importance of word-of-mouth and use of social media in changing perceptions whilst Megan highlighted the need for broader understanding and appreciation of the various roles within the sector. Tom stressed the significance of offering substantial learning opportunities, such as apprenticeships and equivalent qualifications to university degrees, to attract and retain young professionals. 

Alex further elaborated on the need to recognise and nurture talent within ancillary roles, as these positions can serve as stepping stones to more direct care roles. She shared a success story from her organisation, where 30% of young people transitioned from ancillary roles to care roles, underscoring the importance of building confidence and skills gradually. 

The discussion also touched on the potential for integrating social care topics into school curricula to raise awareness and interest from an early age. Sadie suggested that real-life experiences, such as intergenerational activities in care homes, could provide valuable insights and inspire young people to consider careers in social care. 

In terms of retaining young workers, the panellists focused the importance of providing a supportive and inclusive environment where young people can learn from their mistakes and explore different career avenues. Tom highlighted his organisation’s open-door policy, which fosters a collaborative and adaptive work culture and has proved successful within their workforce.  

The conversation then shifted to the role of social media in recruitment. Whilst Facebook is currently a primary platform for reaching potential recruits, the panel acknowledged the growing influence of platforms like TikTok and Instagram amongst younger audiences. Alex shared examples of care organisations successfully using TikTok for recruitment and engagement, suggesting that the choice of platform should align with the target audience's preferences. 

To conclude, each panellist shared their personal motivations and rewarding experiences in the social care sector. Sadie spoke about the profound learning opportunities and the inspiration she took from learning how to communicate with non-verbal clients. Tom expressed his passion for making systemic changes to improve service delivery whilst Alex highlighted the diverse and exciting opportunities within the sector, from research projects to innovative care practices, that keep her motivated. 

The panel discussion ended with an interactive Q&A session, inviting the audience to engage further with the panellists’ insights and experiences. The conversation underscored the importance of changing perceptions, proactive recruitment, and continuous learning to attract and retain the next generation of social care workers. 


View all Edition 24

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