MAKE A DIFFERENCE This month, Essex County Council are encouraging people to consider a new and rewarding career in adult social.

With the number of adult social care jobs predicted to increase by 36% (580,000 jobs) nationally to around 2.2m jobs by 2035, there are a wealth of diverse roles currently on offer.

Ex-London cabbie Ian Wakeling switched careers due to the pandemic and is now encouraging others to consider a career in adult social care.

Aſter spending 30 years driving a taxi in the capital, Ian had fallen out of love with his job because it was becoming increasingly difficult to operate. When COVID-19 shut down the city, Ian decided that this was the sign he needed to take the plunge and investigate a career as an adult social carer.

Having initially ruled it out, assuming that he’d need to have qualifications to even be considered for a role, he started to investigate further when the pandemic made his cabbie role unviable.

On discovering that no prior experience or qualifications were needed because comprehensive training is provided, Ian applied and now has a full-time role as a Community Care Assistant at Essex Cares Limited.

Ian enjoys it so much that he is actively encouraging others to also consider a career in adult social care. He said: “I think there are probably a lot of fantastic candidates for care out there who might be put off by a lack of experience. It certainly prevented me from applying sooner, but they shouldn’t let that stop them. I’d been a London cabbie all my life and I found out that many of my skills were transferable, but I’ve also learnt so much, from manual handling to first aid and medication handling.”

Ian continued: “This job has really opened my eyes and given me a revived sense of purpose – whether I’m helping someone with their personal care or simply sharing a cup of tea, it’s so rewarding to know that I’m there when they need me to offer a vital shoulder to lean on.

“You oſten go into social care to change someone’s life, but it's ended up changing my life for the better. Even a five-minute chat can make a big difference to those more isolated.”

Essex County Council is currently looking for more people like Ian to take up vital roles across Essex in adult social care.

There is a wealth of diverse roles on offer, all designed to provide personal and practical support to help people live independently; from adults with disabilities, to older people or those with mental or physical conditions.

Workers can be based in the community, in care homes, hospitals or people’s homes with tasks ranging from supporting people to participate in social activities in the community, to helping with personal care, such as getting dressed or cooking meals.

Director of Adult Social Care, Nick Presmeg, said: “To start your career in adult social care, all you need is the right qualities, rather than specific qualifications. With on-the-job training and ongoing support, starting a career in care has never been easier.”

Ian added: “Working in adult social care is not just an emotionally rewarding role, it’s one of the most in-demand and varied roles too. Working with a range of people with different care needs means that no day is the same. It can also provide great ongoing career progression and job security.” - 7 -

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