Thousands of young people across the country joined Who Cares?, the first ever national care careers conference for students in schools and colleges, organised by Hallmark Foundation and Working Options in Education on 7 March. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDgnRX0Bjv5NFlXxHKQZgUBaxoUc0Dsox
The event in London attracted hundreds of students aged 14-18 who are looking at careers opportunities in care and the wide variety of roles and jobs available. Thousands more joined the event by livestreaming from their schools and colleges.
Who Cares? featured a line up of speakers and interactive performances – from broadcaster Ed Balls to Deborah Sturdy, chief nurse for adult social care at the Department of Health and Social Care, to Jermaine Harris, the UK’s fastest growing inspirational speaker, and UpFront Theatre Company’s latest production on ‘What makes a good carer’.
Ed Balls talked about his experience working in a care home and with a home care company for a BBC documentary: “I did so many things I had never done in my life.”
Talking about the critical role care plays in all our lives, Ed Balls told students: “We need to do better as a society to support the way we provide and support careers in care. This is a sector that will grow and the demand for people will increase. The only way is up and we will only continue to value the work social care workers do. If you’re thinking of a career with prospects, care is one where your value will be increasing significantly over the next 5-20 years.”
One key point reiterated by several speakers was the importance of care homes and care providers building better links with their local schools and colleges to give students a real feel and experience of caring. Working Options in Education and the Hallmark Foundation will also be running more ‘insights into care’ workshops in schools with presenters from the care sector.
Four younger Hallmark Care Homes team members talked about their journey into care and career development. When asked what key values are needed to work in care, they said: “Kindness, courage, dedication, quality, individuality and dignity.” Nye Brown, Managing Director of Hallmark Care Homes, also showed a new video, No Day is the Same, about younger people working in various roles for the business.
To meet the growing care needs of our ageing population and to increase the care workforce by 500,000 people over the next decade, shadow Care Minister Liz Kendall MP called on government to develop a ten year plan for the care workforce.
Hallmark Foundation trustee Anita Goyal, who chaired the conference, said: “We were delighted to have hundreds of people in the hall, some who travelled a long way to London, and thousands who joined us from across the country through livestreaming. Many others will be able to access a recording of the event and a range of video resources.
“As a former teacher, I firmly believe in empowering young people to be and do the best they can. That’s why the Hallmark Foundation and the Hemraj Goyal Foundation have been promoting positive mindsets through workshops in schools and that’s why this event encouraged young people to think and plan ahead about working in care.”
“There are lots of opportunities and those opportunities are only going to increase in the coming decades as care needs grow in the UK. Young people felt very positively that #YouCanCare and that there are opportunities for everyone in care – from frontline caring to nursing, IT to HR, marketing to finance, hospitality and catering to gardening. You name it, care needs young people, and the people who draw on care services need more young people for one of the most important jobs in our society.”
Avnish Goyal, chair of the Hallmark Foundation and Hallmark Care Homes, said: “This was the first national care careers conference for students in schools and colleges. Clearly there is a huge appetite amongst young people and their tutors and teachers for more information, advice and hands on experience in caring. We will be working with partners to provide more opportunities for students to find out why care is a career with a great future.”
The Who Cares? event would not have been possible without sponsors Advinia Care, Precious Homes, Regent Group, Sahara Care and Hemraj Goyal Foundation, together with a wide range of exhibitors.
More information at: Home – Hallmark Foundation – Age Well, Every Step of the Way and Home – Working Options
Conference highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDgnRX0Bjv5NFlXxHKQZgUBaxoUc0Dsox