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The role of young workers (18-25) in the English care system

Social Care Workforce Periodical Issue 3

There is no doubt that the social care sector is one of the fastest growing employment sectors in England, as in most developed countries. There have been calls, and a number of initiatives to increase recruitment in the sector, including recruiting migrant workers and other ‘untapped’ pools of workers (Hussein and
Manthorpe 2005; Stone 2004; Hussein et al. 2009). Over the past few decades, recruitment initiatives in other developed countries,  such as the United States (US), have targeted school leavers and young people as candidates to join the care sector (DOL and HHS 2003; Stone 2000). More recently, in the UK, government recruitment initiatives have also begun to target young people, recognizing their potential in terms of meeting labour demand in the fast growing adult social care sector. In April 2009, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) published plans to help at least 50,000 young people into social care apprenticeships in a scheme called CareFirst, as part of the Adult Social Care Workforce Strategy.