Call for more young carers amongst growing fears of an ageing population

At some point in our lives we may need to think about a carer for our loved ones, or even for ourselves.

But figures from Social Care Wales raises concerns whether there will be enough carers in Wales to cope with the country’s ageing population.

They are calling for more young people to join the profession.

Young care workers

Jake Albrighton is a care assistant at Tregerddan residential home.

In school he hadn’t considered a career in care, but swapped a role in retail to look after others.

He said he has no regrets and that his favourite part of the job is meeting people.

In the next 20 years the number of people over 85 is expected to double.

And like those they look after the current care work force is getting older.

According to latest figures released by Social Care Wales, more than a third of carers in Wales are over 50. Whilst just 11% are under 25.

Statistics on care workers in Wales

As those carers approaching retirement age leave the profession, young carers are needed to replace them.

It is estimated by 2030, we will need an extra 20,000 carers in Wales.

Matt Milum, nursery worker

Matt Milum is an Early Years worker. He takes pride in helping little ones find their way.

Sue Evans at Social Care Wales said the issue is a lack of understanding of jobs that are available in the care sector.

Sue Evans from Social Care Wales

She said “there are over 80 different types of roles in early years childcare and social care” but you don’t see them advertised unless you are already in the business.

Matt Milum, nursery worker

Alongside a lack of understanding of the variety of roles she said negative perceptions of care work “that it is all hard work and not much fun” is affecting recruitment of young people.

She recognised that the pay scale isn’t attractive and that “everyone would wish for it to be higher.”

But she said being a carer is a very rewarding career.

Certainly the ambition and the career pathways and the joy people get working in early years and social care where you are trying to help people who are vulnerable or giving a child the very best start in life those are very awarding careers.

– SUE EVANS, SOCIAL CARE WALES

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