A new website has been launched in Hartlepool in the hope of making it easier for people to access the care industry.
A nationwide shortage of healthcare workers has prompted organizations across the country to declare the industry is at crisis point.
In Hartlepool, a new website has been launched to make it easier to find care and voluntary sector jobs in the city. It will also be used by employers to help them recruit for these positions.
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The Virtual Jobs and Volunteering Center has been set up by Hartlepool Council with the help of local care providers and can be found at www.hartlepoolnow.co.uk/opportunities.
The website is fast, easy and free to use. Employers can upload job postings whenever they want, and people can search for vacancies by proximity, job type, job type, and number of hours. Additionally, the launch coincides with the current national ‘Made With Care’ campaign to encourage people to explore the benefits of a career in adult social care.
Cllr Tim Fleming, chair of the council’s Adult and Community Services Committee, said: “We are delighted to launch this new website, which will help carers, volunteers and employers. People in the care and voluntary sectors in Hartlepool are making a magnificent and vital contribution to the city and deserve our highest praise.
“They do amazing work, empowering the people they care for or help. Being a caregiver or volunteer are roles where personal qualities can often be even more important than qualifications and they offer the advantage of working flexible work.
“They also bring with them unique personal and emotional rewards, and adult social services offer a wealth of opportunities for training and building a great career. This new website could help you take that first step on the way.”
The government launched Made With Care in November last year – a recruitment drive to encourage more people to take up a role in the adult social care sector.
Around the same time, UNISON and the National Care Forum (NCF) jointly wrote to Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid calling for urgent action on the staffing crisis engulfing the care sector . They said the “emergency in recruitment and retention” had been triggered by chronic underfunding resulting in low salaries and staff burnout.
UNISON – the largest union representing welfare workers – and the NCF, the organization representing nonprofit care providers, said welfare is grappling with a staffing crisis “of on a scale that threatens to overwhelm the sector.”
They said: “Care providers are already having to return contracts, refusing new demands for care, at home and in care homes, as a direct result of the acute shortage of workers. This country can no longer afford to lose Caregivers Each of us has a loved one who may well need their skills, support and compassion, or who may eventually need help themselves. Don’t ignore this disaster for a moment longer.”
Figures from an NCF survey found that almost three-quarters of respondents had seen an increase in the number of staff leaving, and 46% said their employees were leaving the industry altogether. This is in addition to a pre-existing vacancy level of 105,000.
UNISON General Secretary Christina McAnea said: “Care workers have been undervalued and ignored for too long. And the escalating staff crisis is a consequence. It is high time to increase living wages for all care workers There has been a lot of talk but not nearly enough action on funding social care Without additional government resources, homes will close and home care will be cut, which means that those who depend on aid will suffer.
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