“I would recommend a career in care to so many people.”

‘I Care… Ambassadors’ is an initiative hosted by Skills for Care, designed to help the recruitment and retention challenges in the social care sector.

Ambassadors are care workers who inspire and motivate people to understand more about working in social care and they help people to make informed decisions about their careers in the sector.

Ruth Daynes shares her story of working as an ambassador.

“From the start of my career journey in 1998, I have had a varied and interesting journey. I started working as a night worker, assisting people with ‘severe challenging behaviour’. In this role, I had the opportunity to progress to a senior position, supporting individuals to move into their own home when the service was unable to meet their needs.

“I moved into Sensory Services, working with deaf people with learning disabilities and mental health needs. Here I trained as an assessor and internal verifier, and I started working full time as a peripatetic assessor across East Anglia and London. In 2009, I redeployed to go back into Services, to support people with learning disabilities as a community inclusion facilitator. From there, I moved to my current role as the learning and development coordinator at Leading Lives, a social care support provider based in Suffolk.

“When I was at college, I studied a Level 3 Health and Social Care qualification, and have since gone on to complete multiple continued professional development (CPD) qualifications. I am currently completing my Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training.

“There are many different routes that people can take to begin their career in social care.”

“Apprenticeship standards including the Adult Care Worker standard are a great way to enter the sector, earning while you learn essential skills. People can volunteer or complete work experience, to get an insight into whether they will be suited to a career in the industry. Qualifications in health and social care are also a great stepping stone for people to enter the sector.

“Becoming an I Care… Ambassador was a no-brainer for me, as I already actively encouraged younger people to consider a career in the sector. As an ambassador, I take part in a variety of activities. I visit schools and colleges to deliver lessons for health and social care learners and I hold information classes talking about my experiences in care. I also regularly attend careers and recruitment events at schools, colleges and job centres. Ambassadors talk about what it’s like to work in social care, the different jobs available in care, where you can find out more about social care careers and the type of person who would enjoy working in care.

“I would recommend a career in care to so many people. It’s an excellent profession and provides fabulous career opportunities.

“It isn’t just something you do if you aren’t good at something else, as it’s important you have the right motivations and qualities to work in care. A career in this sector is suitable for people who want to work in a constantly changing environment, who want to support others and have a positive impact on their lives.”

Ruth is a great example of how the Skills for Care I Care…Ambassador initiative is supporting the recruitment and retention of those in the care sector.

A recent survey showed that 91% of people have a better idea of what it’s like to work in social care, and there was a 23% increase in people interested in a career in care having heard from an ambassador.

There are also benefits for employers to have members of staff that are ambassadors. It is an excellent learning and development opportunity and is a great way to motivate staff and build their confidence. It can also help boost business profiles and lower recruitment costs.

To find out more about the I Care…Ambassador initiative and learn how to get involved, visit the Skills for Care website.