25 Feb 2014
A team leader from Salford is spearheading a campaign to address the drastic shortage of staff in the care sector.
Leanne Frendo, 28, who works at Beechfield Lodge care home in Salford, hopes to encourage job seekers to join the care sector to meet the demands of Britain’s ageing population.
She has launched the campaign in Manchester to mark a report issued by Anchor and the International Longevity Centre which has found 40 per cent of the projected increase in England’s working age population will need to enter the care profession to tackle a staffing timebomb. If current trends continue, England could face a shortfall of 718,000 care workers by 2025, and an unprecedented number of men are needed to bridge the gap.
Leanne said that as Britain’s population aged, dementia was going to be more prevalent. There are more than 84,090 people in the North West who have been diagnosed or are likely to have dementia. According to Age UK, the number of people living with dementia in the UK is expected to rise to one million by 2025.
She said men needed to join the care sector in order for the country to cope with this increase in older people needing care. Women currently make up 82 per cent of the care workforce and whereas just 4.2 per cent of working men work in health and social care, nearly one in six women (15.5%) work in the sector.
Additional research conducted by Anchor found that even though 94 per cent of young people aged 16 to 25 in Manchester agree care is a suitable profession for a man, 28% of them say they had not considered becoming a carer.
But a quarter (25%) of young people in Manchester said they would consider a job as a carer if there was a more positive public perception of the role.
Leanne said she was proud to work in care and would encourage other young people to join the sector.
She said: “Young people should consider care as a career because it’s a rewarding profession, which gives you opportunities to develop as a person while being a valued part of another person’s life. I know I make a difference to people’s lives daily, offering them support during difficult times.
“I like my job because I can see that older people are still part of society and are valued within our community.”
Leanne added that society had to address the workforce timebomb otherwise older people of the future faced a life without care.
She said: “The care sector needs to attract a wider range of staff: young and old, and we need more men to consider care as a potential career – particularly as men are living longer. Our workforce should reflect the diversity of our residents.”