Health & Social Care

Careers in health and social care are undoubtedly amongst the most challenging, but they can also be the most satisfying. They require empathy, responsibility, perseverance and, above all, a strong desire to help others.

You can enter the sector in a number of ways, including:

  • Full-time / part-time college courses/ School leaver
  • Apprenticeships
  • Higher National Certificates (HNC)
  • Higher National Diplomas (HND)
  • Foundation Degree
  • Bachelors Degree

Adult Health and Social Care

The sector is growing all the time, and requires workers in ever greater numbers; as the UK’s population lives longer the need for adult health and social care increases to – the stats below show just how vibrant and busy this sector is:

  • The number of adult social care jobs in England as at 2015 was estimated at 1.55 million. An increase of 1% and 12,500 jobs since 2014
  • The number of people doing these jobs was estimated at 1.43 million
  • The number of full-time equivalent jobs was estimated at 1.11 million
  • An estimated 19,300 organisations spread across 40,100 care providing locations were involved in providing or organising adult social care in England
  • Around 235,000 adults, older people and carers received direct payments from councils’ social services departments. It is estimated that approximately 65,000 direct payment recipients employ their own staff
  • Since 2009, the workforce continued to shift away from local authority jobs (-33% and -60,000 jobs) and towards independent sector jobs (+25% and 245,000 jobs).

Many local training providers offer a wide range of training and qualifications to support you in gaining the job you want – everything from Care Manager to Nurse, to Physiotherapist and Speak Therapist, through to Counsellor and Doctor. Visit our members page where you can access more information on specific providers.

There are many different occupations / careers available within the sector; some of these include:

  • Medicine and Nursing: NHS doctors, dentists, paramedics, nurses and midwives, but plenty more are engaged within managerial, I.T. and administration work
  • Specialist careers available within the healthcare system, include: clinical support staff, such as donor carers, and new-born hearing screeners; allied health professionals, such as radiographers and orthoptists; and specialist therapy staff, such as occupational therapists, speech therapists and art therapists
  • Social care: Work can be done in a variety of different environments, in people’s own homes, in residential care units, in shelters for the homeless, and in young offender institutes

You can see lots more job roles and their profiles by visiting the National Careers Service site.

Around 87,800 social care Apprenticeships were started in 2015/16.

  • Around a quarter (26%) of social care Apprenticeships started in 2015/16 were by people aged under 25, 50% were aged 25 to 44 and 24% were aged 45 or above.
  • Social care higher Apprenticeship starts have increased from 8,500 to 10,000 between 2014/15 and 2015/16.
  • Social care remains the largest Apprenticeship framework, with 37,600 more starts than the second largest framework, Business Administration.

Are you an employer interested in taking on an apprentice? Help and support are available via the Government Employing an Apprentice web page.

Are you an individual looking for an Apprenticeship? You can find all the latest vacancies by visiting the Find an Apprenticeship page.

However, people tend to specialise in one area, which is defined by the kind of service users they work with and their specific type of social problems, such as domestic violence, asylum, or mental health.

All employees working in the Health and Social Care sector will have to undergo basic security checks before they can work in this sector. This can often involve undergoing a standard DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check.