Your guide to a career in social care, social work and healthcare.

Your guide to a career in
social care, social work
and healthcare.
It’s hard work,
demanding and
challenging. It’s also
rewarding, satisfying
and worthwhile.
c o n t e n ts
your future starts here
job roles
qualification grid
career routes
frequently asked questions
your next step
your future starts here
1. your future starts here
Are you interested in a challenging and
rewarding career? Do you want to make a
difference to people’s lives? Then consider
working in social care, social work or in the health sector.
This booklet describes the training you can do to support
your chosen career path.
your future starts here
are you ...?
A good communicator
Keen to learn
Cool under pressure
Interested in people
Keen on being part of a valued
do you want a career
that offers ...?
Job satisfaction
Good long term employment
Good training leading to
recognised qualifications and
career progression
The chance to make a real
difference to people’s lives
Working environments to suit
your preference
A range of opportunities and a real
A job where every day is different
If all this is you - then a career in
health and social care may be just
what you're looking for.
There is a huge range of jobs open to you,
with many offering flexible hours that might
suit you better than the conventional nine to
five. You could also choose to work part
time. But however you choose to work you
will be doing a job that is varied and
worthwhile. There are entry routes available
for people of all ages and all levels of
experience. Entrants to the workforce
include those starting work for the first time,
those returning to work after a break and
those looking for a change of career. The
most important qualities you need are an
interest in people and a respect for what
makes them special.
Jeff Wheelwright
Social Care
Jeff helps employers
to invest in their
staff by giving
advice on training
and development.
Employed by the sector
skills council, Skills for Care, his job
is to work with all agencies to achieve
a competent, qualified workforce.
Jeff started work in the care sector 29
years ago after completing a BA Degree
in Politics. He explains: "I was drawn to
residential care after a holiday job in a
geriatric hospital. I thought there were
things we could do better to improve the
quality of life for service users. I still think
that today – we can always improve, but I
am proud of many of the changes I have
seen over my working life.”
After working as a care assistant in a
residential home Jeff moved into
fieldwork. He was paid by his employer to
train to be a social worker and has since
worked in a wide variety of care settings
and roles, including direct work,
management & teaching.
Jeff explains: “There are always
opportunities for people who want to
work in the care sector. You can develop
both your career and your lifestyle in line
with your own interests. Experience &
qualifications are in demand throughout
the UK - my own family has enjoyed
living in Scotland and Northumberland
before settling back in East Yorkshire.”
Jeff concludes: “What’s great about
working in social care is that you can
make a real difference to someone’s
quality of life. It’s a big responsibility and
the rewards, in terms of job satisfaction,
are second to none.”
job roles
2. job roles
about social care
Working in social care will give you the
opportunity to help many different people
lead fulfilling lives. You could choose to
support older people and work as a home
care assistant or in a residential care home.
Other jobs include working with children,
families and young people and people with
physical or learning disabilities.
Home Care Assistants give the practical
support and regular human contact that
matter so much to older people, or others
who rely on help to live at home. Providing
someone with care in their own home gives
them dignity and independence. Home
carers provide assistance with a wide range
of tasks including washing, dressing and
making meals.
Residential Care can become the best
solution for people who, because of age or
physical or learning disabilities are no
longer able to cope in their own home.
Sometimes children also need to move into
residential homes. Staff work to create safe,
clean and homely environments where
people can live in comfort and are treated
with dignity.
Binoy and
Senior Care
Binoy and
are senior care
officers at The Old School House
and Courtyard Nursing Home in
Gilberdyke. They came to England
from Southern India approximately 3
months ago.
Binoy explains: “We completed a 3 year
general nursing course in India and have
over 4 years practical experience of
nursing. We came here to experience the
lifestyle and to earn money.”
Binoy and Syamkumar work full-time
looking after elderly residents with
Syamkumar says: “The job is very
rewarding, everyone is different and you
finish your day knowing you have made
a difference to someone’s quality of life.
The important thing is making sure
people have as much dignity as
Working in the Community can mean
working as part of an outreach team, for
example, visiting homes where parents are
finding it difficult to cope with their children,
helping people who are involved in drug or
alcohol misuse or helping someone with a
learning disability who is living
independently for the first time.
Useful Weblinks
Binoy and Syamkumar are in England on
a 2 year work permit after which they
hope to return to India.
Binoy concludes: “This is a great place
to work. The job is very good and we
enjoy working here. The most important
part of the job is knowing that we are
helping to improve the quality of people’s
job roles
about social work
about health
As a social worker you are a professional
doing a varied and worthwhile job which
focuses on improving people’s well-being.
Your daily activities can be extremely
rewarding because you spend much of your
time helping vulnerable people to make
crucial decisions and to regain control of
their lives. Social work involves engaging
not only with clients themselves, but with
their families and friends as well as working
closely with other organisations including
the police, the health service, schools and
the probation service. Social work offers the
opportunity to work in different settings with
different client groups.
The health service offers a wide range of
employment opportunities for many people.
Adult Services can include working with
people with mental health problems or
learning disabilities in residential care;
working with offenders, by supervising them
in the community and supporting them to
find work; assisting people with HIV/AIDS
and working with older people at home,
helping to sort out problems with their
health, housing or benefits.
Allied Health Professionals (AHPs)
work with children and adults of all ages
who are ill or have disabilities or special
needs. Their skills and expertise can often
be a significant factor in helping people to
recover movement or mobility, overcome
visual problems, improve nutritional status,
develop communication abilities or restore
The Dental Team includes dentists, dental
nurses, hygienists, technicians and
therapists who diagnose and provide
treatment for a range of problems affecting
the mouth, teeth and gums.
Doctors diagnose, care for and treat
illnesses, infections and diseases. As a
doctor you have to examine the symptoms
presented by a patient and consider a range
of possible diagnoses of their cause.
Nurses care for adults or children, or those
Children, Families and Young
People’s Services can include providing
assistance and advice to keep families
together; working in children's homes;
managing adoption and foster care
processes; providing support to younger
people leaving care or who are at risk or in
trouble with the law; or helping children who
have problems at school or are facing
difficulties brought on by illness in the
As a social worker you have scope to
manage your own time and make your own
decisions. It's all about improving people’s
lives and helping them to make choices.
Useful Weblinks
with mental health and learning disabilities.
Or you may wish to support women with
their pregnancies and train to be a midwife.
Healthcare Scientists help to prevent,
diagnose and treat illness using scientific
knowledge and technical skills, whether it's
preparing an operating room for transplant
surgery or analysing tissue samples.
The Wider Healthcare Team are the
people who work behind the scenes to
ensure that the health service can function.
They maintain buildings, provide catering,
run the clinical supply service, handle
administration and much more. There are
over 70 professions within the National
Health Service (NHS).
Useful Weblinks
qualification grid
3. qualification grid
If you want to take your job further
there will be an opportunity to gain
more skills and professional
There are different levels of qualification
suitable for every stage of your career.
Level 1 is introductory, for those new to
working in a particular area. It covers
routine tasks and develops basic knowledge
and understanding.
Level 2 qualifications recognise the ability
to perform varied tasks with some guidance
or supervision and enable you to gain a
good knowledge and understanding.
Level 3 is for those who work on their own
initiative, planning and organising their own
work and supervising others, for example, a
senior care assistant.
Level 4 is for experienced practitioners and
managers who carry out complex and nonroutine tasks.
Level 5 and above involves personal
autonomy and significant responsibility for
the work of others and for the allocation of
You can now gain a recognised qualification
in a way that suits you. There are two main
ways to train for a qualification: you can
study whilst you work or undertake a course
of study. This could be, for example, at a
local venue, at a sixth form college, at a
further or higher education college, through
distance learning or e-learning.
The qualification grid on the opposite page
shows some of the different jobs available
and links key roles and qualification levels.
Carol Wilson
Deputy Manager
Carol started work in
the care sector 10
years ago as a
domestic assistant
and never imagined
then that she would
progress to deputy manager.
Carol explains: “I was looking to return to
work after having my children. I had
worked in shops and factories but my
sisters suggested I try working in a care
home. I started work in the laundry room
and would talk to the residents as I
returned their clothes. I soon realised
that I wanted to work more closely with
the people living in the home.”
With the support of her manager and her
employer, HICA Care Homes, Carol has
accessed first class training to support
her career. She has passed a 10-month
management skills programme, is an
NVQ assessor, is currently working
toward an NVQ level 4 in Health and
Social Care and is hoping to start the
Registered Manager’s Award in the very
near future. Carol continues: “My next
goal is to progress to manager.”
Carol explains: “I love working with older
people with memory impairment. Every
person is unique and no two days are
the same. I love knowing that I am
helping to improve somebody’s quality of
life. The job can be hard work and
emotional but the rewards are immense.
Ten years ago I never thought I’d be
where I am today.”
qualification grid
Job Roles
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
BTEC Introductory Certificate in
Health & Social Care
GNVQ Foundation Health &
Social Care
GCSE Health & Social Care
(Double Award)
GNVQ Intermediate Health &
Social Care
NVQ level 2 in Health &
Social Care
BTEC First Certificate & Diploma in
Health & Social Care
Health & Social Care
Social Care Cadet Programme
Care Assistant
Support Worker
Home Carer
Health Assistant
Care Officer
Senior Care
GCE Health & Social Care
(Double Award)
NVQ level 3 in Health
& Social Care (Adults)
Senior Support /
Programme Worker
BTEC National Diploma in Health
Certificate in Working with People
with Learning Disabilities
NVQ level 3 in Health &
Social Care (Children &
Young People)
Health & Social Care
Advanced Apprenticeship
Healthcare Worker
NHS Cadet Programme
Care Coordinator
Residential /
Deputy Manager
BTEC Higher National Certificate &
Diploma in Health & Social Care
NVQ level 4 in Health &
Social Care (Adults)
Assessors NVQ Award
Verifiers NVQ Award
NVQ level 4 in Health &
Social Care (Children &
Young People)
NVQ level 4 in Managers
in Residential Child Care
NVQ level 4 Registered
Managers Award Adults
Occupational Qualifications
Level 4
Vocationally Related Qualifications
Residential /
Domiciliary Manager
Team Leader
Social Worker
Allied Health
Foundation Degree in Health &
Community Care Services
Diploma in Higher Education /
Registered Nurse
Advanced Diploma in Higher
Education / Registered Nurse
BA / Diploma in Social Work
MA in Social Work
BA (Hons) Managing Health &
Social Care Services
BSc (Hons) Nursing
BSc (Hons) Midwifery
Medical Training
This table is subject to changes. For the most up-to-date information on qualifications available
ask your employer or contact your local training provider.
career routes
4. career routes
A) Still at school or aged
between 14 and 19?
There are many career paths available. Ask
your careers adviser which one of these is
best for you.
GCSE in Health and Social Care
(Double Award) this GCSE is the
equivalent of 2 traditional GCSEs. GCSEs
are widely available to 14-19 year olds and
are often used as an entry requirement for
level 3 study.
BTEC Introductory Certificate in
Health and Social Care and GNVQ
Foundation in Health and Social Care
these qualifications are at level 1 and will
help you to go on to higher level
qualifications, such as GCEs or A Levels or
an Intermediate GNVQ in Health and Social
Care. Alternatively, you can go straight into
GCE Health and Social Care (Double
Award) is a level 3, 2 year, course and is
equivalent to 2 A levels.This qualification
helps you to go either straight in to
employment or on to higher education in
any field related to nursing or health and
social care. The award includes a variety of
work placements, which provides you with
the opportunity to gain experience in
different areas of health and social care and
different work settings.
Or you may also wish to consider an
apprenticeship scheme outlined on page 11
or a cadet scheme outlined on page 15.
Useful Weblinks
Domiciliary Carer
Eighteen year old
Samantha works as
a domiciliary carer
for Market
Weighton based New
Concept Care and Nursing. She has
completed both a GNVQ and an AVCE
in Health and Social Care and is due
to start her Diploma in Nursing.
She explains: “I did the GNVQ and the
AVCE whilst still at school. You learn
about all aspects of health and social
care. I also had the opportunity to do
work experience in a hospital. This really
helped me decide that nursing was
something I wanted to do.”
Samantha is now looking forward to
starting her Diploma in Nursing. She
says: “It is a three year course so
requires commitment but at the end of
that time I will be qualified to practice as
a nurse.” Samantha is hoping to go into
adult nursing and adds: “Working as a
domiciliary carer has given me excellent
hands-on experience. I go into people’s
homes and help with things they can no
longer do for themselves, such as getting
dressed and washed or with shopping or
washing up. If you are a naturally caring
person then a lot of the job will come
naturally to you.”
Samantha concludes: “The best part of
working in care is knowing that when I
finish my working day I have made
changes to make people's lives better –
however large or small.”
career routes
B) Want to earn and
learn your way up the
career ladder?
There has never been a better time to build
a career in social care. You need no formal
qualifications before you start, but as you
work there will be the opportunity to develop
your skills through on-the-job learning and
training courses.
Induction and Foundation Training
provide the basic knowledge and skills to
help you settle into your new role. The
induction programme takes place in the first
six weeks of your new job, using national
standards adapted to where you work. You
then move on to foundation training, which
should be completed in the first 6 months of
starting your job (your manager will ensure
you are supported through this). Most of the
training will be led by your manager, but
external trainers may come in to cover some
specialist areas. Induction and foundation
training together give you professional
recognition and could lead on to other
National Vocational Qualifications
(NVQs) are work-based qualifications that
relate to everyday tasks and check that you
know why you are doing things in a
particular way. With NVQs you don’t have to
take exams. A trained assessor will join you
for periods to assess your abilities in the
different aspects of your job. The NVQs in
Health and Social Care are available at
levels 2, 3 and 4. At levels 3 and 4 you can
choose an adult or children and young
people pathway dependent on the work you
are doing. Various NVQs in management
are also available including the Registered
Managers Award (Adults) level 4 and the
Award for Managers in Residential Child
Care level 4
Apprenticeships involve working and
training with an employer and studying for
other qualifications with a learning provider.
Apprentices learn on the job, building up
knowledge and skills, gaining qualifications
and earning a wage. Entry requirements are
flexible because apprenticeships are not just
based on academic achievement. What
counts are practical skills and your interest
in health and social care.
Young Apprenticeships are for 14-16
year olds. You’ll continue to study core
National Curriculum subjects, including
English, Maths, ICT and Science, but you’ll
also spend up to 2 days a week in the work
Apprenticeships are open to anyone
aged 16-24 not taking part in full-time
There are two levels of apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships work toward NVQ level 2
and Key Skills (these are essential skills you
need to support your career, such as
communication and numeracy) and a
Technical Certificate.
Advanced Apprenticeships work
towards NVQ level 3, and sometimes level
4, Key Skills and a Technical Certificate.
Apprenticeships and advanced
apprenticeships last as long as it takes to
achieve your NVQ, Key Skills and Technical
Certificate. On averageit takes between 1
and 3 years.
Useful Weblinks
Useful Weblinks
career routes
C) Thinking of a change
in career?
D) Are you currently out
of work?
For many people coming to work in the care
sector can be a second or third career.
There is a huge range of opportunities open
to you and there are entry routes available
for people of all ages and all levels of
experience. The most important qualities are
an interest in people and a respect for what
makes them special.
If you are looking for work you may be able
to come into health and social care through
a Jobcentre Plus scheme such as New
Deal. This government programme aims to
give unemployed people the help and
support they need to get work. Everyone on
New Deal has an adviser who takes time to
understand your experiences, interests and
goals so a plan can be prepared to get you
into a suitable job. If you are eligible for
New Deal, talk to your New Deal adviser
about how to get started in the care sector.
If you’ve never worked in the sector before
and are looking for a change of career, then
it may be a good idea to find out more about
what the job involves before committing
yourself. Local adult education centres offer
introductory and short courses. These give a
good opportunity to understand in more
detail what the work involves. You can then
find a job or volunteer role where you can
gain a qualification while you work or you
may want to take a college based course.
Working as a volunteer can be an excellent
way to find out whether you'd like a career
in health and social care. The East Riding
Voluntary Action Services (ERVAS) is the
local development agency which provides
support to voluntary and community groups
based in the East Riding of Yorkshire. They
will be able to give you details on voluntary
opportunities in your area. Telephone
01482 871077.
Alternatively, if you are considering a higher
education route, e.g. applying to university
to study for a social work or nursing degree,
but are worried that that you do not have
the qualifications you can do an Access to
Higher Education Certificate. This is a
recognised route into higher education for
mature students. Contact your local further
education college for more information.
Useful weblinks
Even if you are not eligible for a New Deal
programme, your local jobcentre can help
you find out about opportunities to work in
health and social care.
Useful weblinks
E) Already working in the
health and social care
If you are already working in the health and
social care sector you will be able to gain a
recognised qualification by working towards
an NVQ whilst you work. There are different
levels of qualification suitable for every
stage of your career. NVQs in Health and
Social Care are available at levels 2, 3 and
4 and at levels 3 and 4 you can choose an
adult or children and young people pathway
dependent on the work you are doing. NVQs
are work-based qualifications which you can
complete at your own pace. Check which
level qualification you could be working
towards by looking at the qualification grid
on page 8 or talk to your employer.
Useful weblinks
career routes
Chantelle Taylor
Care Manager
As branch manager for
Verna Community Care
30 year-old Chantelle
Taylor is responsible
for more than 350
home carers and
more than 5500 hours of care
in Hull and the East Riding.
Chantelle explains: “We provide care
services to people in their own homes.
I'm responsible for the day-to-day running
of the office to ensure that all our service
users have the best care we can provide.”
Chantelle started work as a part-time
carer in a residential home when she
was seventeen. She later moved into
domiciliary care to gain more experience
of working out in the community. She has
progressed from care worker to senior
care worker to coordinator to senior
coordinator responsible for a satellite
branch, to assistant branch manager
before securing her current job as
branch manager.
Chantelle adds: “There is the real
opportunity to develop a rewarding
career working in care.”
Since starting work in the care sector
Chantelle has gained an NVQ level 3 in
Training and Development, the Assessors
Award and the Registered Managers
Award Level 4.
She concludes: “One of the most
rewarding parts of the job is helping
people achieve greater independence,
enabling them to stay at home as long as
possible. When you can help elderly,
physically or mentally disabled people to
lead more fulfilling lives and develop
some degree of independence, the
satisfaction is enormous.”
F) Do you want to be a
Care Manager?
Working as a care manager is a very
responsible job. As a care manager you
could run, for example, a care home for
older people or for those with learning
disabilities, a residential child care home, a
domiciliary care agency or a nurse agency.
As a manager you play an essential role in
keeping the provision of care running
smoothly whilst ensuring that your clients
receive the best possible care available to
them. You assess needs, plan, direct,
coordinate and supervise the delivery of
care. Various NVQs in management are
available including the Registered Managers
Award (Adults) level 4 and the Award for
Managers in Residential Child Care level 4.
Alternatively you could have a social work
degree or nursing qualification or degree.
For guidance on the National
Minimum Standards for Managers go
to Frequently Asked Questions at:
G) Do you want to be a
Care Trainer/Assessor?
In addition to the qualifications you have
gained for your work, you could complete an
Assessor Award which is part of the NVQ
level 3 Training and Support qualification.
This would then enable you to assess the
competence of students and trainees, or by
completing the full qualification you could
deliver training or support the training and
development of staff and colleagues in your
own work place. If you think you would like
to become an NVQ Assessor / Trainer talk
to your employer or contact your local
training provider for more information about
courses available.
Useful Weblinks
career routes
H) Do you want to be a
Social Worker?
From 2003, professional training for social
workers in England changed to an honours
degree in social work. The degree is usually
a 3 year, full time, course which involves
course work and a minimum of 200 days
spent in work place settings. Some
universities may offer this on a part time
basis or if you already have a degree in
another subject, some universities offer a
shorter postgraduate course.
Another option is to consider a flexible or
modular study option, such as that offered
by the Open University or if you are in
existing relevant employment you may be
able to apply for an employment based
degree route. This usually takes 4 years and
you need the support of your employer as
students are required to be given weekly
study leave by their employers.
A high proportion of social workers come to
the job as a second or third career.
Admission criteria varies, but your previous
experience will be valued and may be
considered in place of formal academic
qualifications. Contact your university
admissions team for clarification.
Alternatively you can do an Access to
Higher Education Certificate. This is a
recognised route for mature students into
higher education. Contact your local further
education provider for more information.
Once qualified you will need to register with
the General Social Care Council (GSCC)
which is responsible for regulating the
workforce. As a qualified social worker you
will then have the opportunity to specialise
and continue with further training under a
post-qualifying framework.
Useful Weblinks
Michelle Kirkwood
Children’s Social
“The thing I love
most about my job is
the reward it gives
when a family has
been able to come
through their difficult
times and move on.”
Michelle has been a children's social
worker in the East Riding for over a year.
After studying childhood science in
society at Durham, Michelle went on to
take a two-year MA degree in social
work. She qualified and started work
within the East Riding on the same day.
“I would say that the majority of parents
do co-operate with our enquiries or visits.
Wherever possible, once a problem has
been identified, we try and keep children
at home with their parents and provide
them with counselling and support. We
provide advice, support and respite care
if it's needed. If it's not possible to keep a
child at home, extended family are
always asked if they can provide care for
the child.”
Michelle feels that the rewards of the job
offset the pressures. "When a child
proudly wears their smart new uniform for
the first time, or when their results
improve at school and you see their
happy faces, just knowing you've played
a part in that makes it all very
Since September 2003,
students studying for the
degree qualification are eligible
for an annual bursary of up to
£2900 and no tuition fees.
career routes
I) Do you want to be a
Nurse, a Physiotherapist,
or a Paramedic?
The Cadet Scheme is usually a 2 year
programme, primarily designed for people
between the age of 16-19, although there
may be the opportunity for people outside
this age group. You will experience a
number of jobs within the health service
such as working in catering departments,
reception areas and wards. This will help
you to decide which career route to follow.
You will work toward a qualification which
can be used as entry to further courses,
such as nursing or as entry into other caring
professions such as radiography, dietetics or
speech and language therapy. The entry
requirements are variable from one Trust to
another. Some Trusts will not require formal
qualifications but will look for evidence of
other skills. Contact your local Workforce
Development Confederation for more
Useful weblink
Health Care Assistants work within
hospital or community settings under the
guidance of a qualified healthcare
professional. The role can be very varied
and types of duties can include washing and
dressing, helping people to mobilise, making
beds and generally assisting with patients’
overall comfort. You can start work as a
healthcare assistant from age 16 although
there may be some limits to the work you
can do. You will also be able to work toward
your NVQ in Health and Social Care. You
can contact your local hospital or hospital
Trust directly to see what opportunities are
available or use the weblinks below.
Useful weblink
Nursing and Midwifery and Health
Visiting - there are no national minimum
entry requirements for entry into nursing and
midwifery as each higher education provider
sets it’s own criteria. However, these are
generally around 5 GCSEs or equivalent at
grade C or above including English
language or literature, Maths and a Science
subject for a diploma programme and 5
GCSEs plus 2 A levels or equivalent for a
degree programme. Alternatively, if you are
a mature student considering entering the
profession you can do an Access to Higher
Education Certificate.
Doctors - it can take a minimum of 9 years
to train as a general practitioner (GP) and
12 years before a doctor is suitably qualified
to apply for a post as a hospital consultant.
All medical students in the UK initially take
an undergraduate course leading to a
Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. Entry
requirements vary between university
medical schools.
Dentists - you initially need to obtain a
bachelors degree from one of the 13 dental
schools. This is then followed by further
training related to the specialty chosen.
Standard dental courses last 5 years and
include academic education combined with
theoretical and practical training in all
aspects of dental practice.
Useful weblink
Paramedic, Ambulance Technician,
Ambulance Care Assistant - Public
sector ambulance services offer exciting and
challenging workplaces where staff are able
to make important contributions to their local
communities. Employment in the ambulance
and paramedic services is restricted to
over 18 year olds. Recruitment is managed
locally by individual ambulance services and
entry requirements vary slightly.
Useful web link:
frequently asked questions
5. frequently asked
I have no qualifications or experience.
Where do I start?
Are there any checks I need to go
through before becoming employed?
There is a huge range of opportunities open
to you and there are entry routes available
for people of all ages and all levels of
experience. Entrants to the workforce
include those starting work for the first time,
those returning to work and those changing
career. For some jobs you do not need any
formal qualifications before you start as you
can train as you work. Use this prospectus
to find out more about the different options
and read section 6, your next step.
People who work with those who are
potentially vulnerable or physically frail need
to be of the highest calibre and integrity. All
applicants for jobs in social care, social
work or in the health sector must therefore
undergo pre-employment checks, which
include a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)
Disclosure and the taking up of references.
For those planning to work in regulated child
care positions with children under the age of
18, employers will apply for a check against
the Protection of Children Act (PoCA) list as
part of the CRB Disclosure. The Protection
of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) list works in a
similar way to PoCA but applies to
applicants wishing to work in care positions
in registered care homes or domiciliary care
What qualities do I need?
The most important qualities are an interest
in people and a respect for what makes
them special. It is important that you care
about people, that you are compassionate
and are able to empathise and understand
other people's feelings. Good listening and
communication skills are important, as is the
ability to get along with other people and
work as part of a team and while you are
not expected to agree with or approve of the
values and behaviours of other people, a
non-judgmental attitude is important. You
have to respect a person's privacy and you
also need to be able to work confidentially.
Is there a minimum age before I can
begin work?
It is possible to work in some areas of
health and social care from the age of 16, in
supervised posts. In other areas workers /
trainees have to be over 18 years of age as
specified in National Minimum Standards.
Age restrictions apply where staff provide
personal care to service users. Ask your
employer or training provider for further
What are the benefits of starting a
career in social care, social work or
in the health sector?
Individual employers may offer a range of
non pay benefits such as flexible working or
the option to take a career break or, for
example, if you are working for the local
authority you could be eligible for the Local
Government Pension Scheme. Ask
individual employers when you apply for a
job. However, no matter which sector you
choose to work in there will be the
opportunity to access training and gain
recognised qualifications to progress your
career. What started as just a job could turn
into a career. You will be doing something
that is both rewarding and worthwhile with
the opportunity to make a real difference to
people’s lives.
frequently asked questions
What hours will I work?
Many jobs in social care, social work and in
health care need to provide cover 24 hours
a day, 7 days a week. As a result you may
be required to work shifts or flexible hours.
This will suit people who prefer not to work
the conventional nine-to-five. You can save
on childcare expenses and enjoy leisure
pursuits and other activities at quieter times
away from the crowds. You would need to
check with your employer, but it could be
possible for you to work part-time, or at
particular times, to fit with your own
What is the pay like?
Your pay will depend on what work you are
doing and who you are working for. Most
residential or home care workers earn
between £5 or £6 an hour. A home care
manager can earn between £25,000 and
£30,000 and a qualified social worker would
probably be on a starting salary of about
£20,000. This could increase to about
£28,000 or above, as you gain more
experience and more responsibilities. A
newly-qualified nurse can expect to earn
£17,060 a year whilst a nurse consultant
can earn up to £50,000 a year once
qualified at that level. This salary
information is a guide only. Check your
wage with your employer before you start
Who employs you?
If you choose to work in social care or social
work you could be employed by the Local
Authority, an independent provider such as
a residential home or domiciliary provider,
charities like the NSPCC and Barnados or
for a variety of different organisations
through a staffing agency. If you choose to
work in the health sector the NHS is the
biggest employer, employing five percent of
the workforce of England. There are other
employers like BMI health care, BUPA or
Nuffield Hospitals. Alternatively you could
work in the voluntary sector.
How long will it take to complete my
This depends on the qualification you are
studying. GCSE, BTEC and GNVQ awards
can either be 1 or 2 year programmes
depending on where you study. NVQs are
flexible: there is no condition that you need
to complete all of the parts of an NVQ within
a set time-frame. Assessment for a full NVQ
can take between 9 and 24 months, though
the national average is around 12 months.
Apprenticeships and advanced
apprenticeships last as long as it takes to
achieve your NVQ, Key Skills and Technical
Certificate. On average it takes between 1
and 3 years. Whereas full time degree
courses take, on average, 3 years.
How much will it cost to complete my
If you are working in a health and social
care setting your employer may be able to
access funding to pay for your training. Ask
your supervisor or manager for more
information. If you choose to do a vocational
course at, for example, a local college, the
cost will vary depending on your
circumstances. Full-time education is free to
everyone under 19 years of age and many
adult learners qualify for either free or
reduced fees depending on circumstances.
If you are unemployed and receiving
benefits you should be able to study for up
to 15 hours per week without affecting those
benefits. Contact your local training provider
for more information.
If you are looking to go to university,
depending on what you choose to study,
financial support may be available. For
example, nursing, midwifery and social work
students are eligible for an annual bursary
and free tuition fees. Other healthcare
degree course students are also eligible for
financial support visit for more information
or contact the GSCC, telephone
020 7397 5835 or visit for
more information about the social work
your next step
6. your next step
For Current Job Vacancies
Visit your local Jobcentre Plus office, call
Jobseeker Direct on 0845 60 60 234
or visit
Look out for job advertisements in local
papers, radio and in local newsagent’s
Look for jobs in specialised magazines
such as Community Care, Care and
Health, Nursing Times and Therapy
For jobs within the local authority visit or look in East
Riding News.
For jobs within the NHS visit
Contact the recruitment or human
resources department at your local Trust.
You can find these at
For Voluntary Work
Check noticeboards in your local library or
community centre or contact local
providers directly. Find details in your
local telephone directory.
Call the East Riding Voluntary Action
Services (ERVAS). They will be able to
give you details on voluntary opportunities
in the East Riding. Call 01482 871077.
Contact your local Community Service
Volunteers group. Call 020 7278 7898 or
visit or
contact Volunteering England. Visit If you are aged
between 16 and 24 contact the
millennium volunteers on 0800 917 8185
or visit
An increasing number of Trusts are
offering work experience or observation
placements to young people to give them
a taste of working in healthcare. Find
your local trust at
For Information about Training
For information about social care training
providers in the East Riding visit, email
[email protected] or
telephone the Social Care Broker on
01262 674078.
If you are still at school, talk to your
school careers service or contact your
local Connexions Service, call
080 800 13 2 19 or visit
Call NHS Careers on 0845 60 60 655 or
visit the main NHS Careers website at
Visit for more
information about careers in health.
For Further Information
For information about working in social
care or social work in the East Riding or if
you would like more information about
working with children call the Families
Information Service on 01482 396469.
Call Social Work and Care Careers on
0845 604 6404 or visit or
Call NHS Careers on 0845 60 60 655 or
visit the main NHS Careers website at
Visit or call
0800 138 5995 for general career
information and guidance.
This document has been produced by the Organisational Development Team, East Riding of
Yorkshire Council on behalf of the Multi Agency Workforce Collaborative.
For information or further copies
of this booklet please contact:
Families Information Service
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
County Hall
East Riding of Yorkshire
HU17 9BA
Tel: 01482 396469
Fax: 01482 396468
and in hand with Children,
Young People and Families.
East Riding of Yorkshire