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To be concerned how many care assistants applied for our job

(30 Posts)
lordsandladies Mon 22-Jun-15 11:16:36

Advertising a fairly basic job in a small town, no skill set required.

We have had over 150 applicants so far and there are a ridiculous number that work / have worked here and there for very short periods in the care system. mainly elderly and disabled personal care.

In between month long stints in hair salons and meat packing places etc.

I'm just a bit shocked, call me naive (clearly I am) but I thought that there would have to be some kind of qualifications required for that type of role, or at the very least a bent towards a caring / NHS minded nature?

They seem to be using personal care roles to get a bit of money before the next hop to any old job. How can the personal care of a totally vulnerable person be treated as cavalierly as this?!

BertPuttocks Mon 22-Jun-15 11:23:03

Care work is so poorly paid that getting a qualification just wouldn't be a reasonable investment.

Employers pay too little to be in any real position to demand qualified applicants.

CaptainAnkles Mon 22-Jun-15 11:23:25

It's a job that often doesn't require previous experience or any qualifications. It's going to be a very mixed bunch of applicants because of that. Care workers can be incredibly undervalued and thought of quite poorly due to this too. They do a job that is sometimes quite physically and emotionally tiring but because it's often about the same pay as shop work they're looked down on.

OurGlass Mon 22-Jun-15 11:24:45

It's a job anyone can get. No qualifications or experience.

It's such a wonderful job they do, and they are paid poorly for very hard work.

Supervet Mon 22-Jun-15 11:25:01

Sad isn't it.
My Grandads carers were helping him take fairly major medicine. They had no idea what the Medicine was, were just following a list and mistakes would have been easy.

There are some damn good carers and some frighteningly awful ones.
They get paid peanuts and can deal with a massive amount of crap. They are also hurried by their managers if they run late.

So if they turn up with your relative and he's full of urine or feceas and they take extra time to clean them they get bollocked.

ilovesooty Mon 22-Jun-15 11:25:24

Agree with the above. A lot of those people will have been on zero hour contracts too.

momb Mon 22-Jun-15 11:29:00

My DH used to be a specialist carer working with young adults with a genetic condition which meant they had complicated behavioural and social needs. He was regularly assaulted and worked many hours over what he was contracted for. He was trained to NVQ3.
He loved the job and found it very rewarding and as he combined it with his own artisan business it worked well.
When he moved to be with me he gave up the care job and now earns £2.50 per hour more in a no-qualification warehouse job with regular daytime hours and Christmas off. is the fact that carers are paid so very poorly that means even qualified 'career carers' can make more money in basic jobs with no skill set, and get the benefit of more social hours.

lordsandladies Mon 22-Jun-15 11:32:11

I just feel a bit sad now, and fairly terrified of old age! Its open to such abuse.

It's completely wrong, the type of role they do should be highly valued.

RedandYellow24 Mon 22-Jun-15 11:36:16

I use carers abd agency's they don't need any qualifications and not really rewarded pay wise if they do. Don't blame people from leaving even though it's illegal never used an agency where they got paid travel time or expenses. So if each client takes you 15/20min travel you can easily clock up 3/4h a day travelling. Then if your only paid 30min that with the person that's nearly an hours work for half hour on mim wage.

Plus a lot of agency's book slots where client a is 8-9 client b is 9-10 with no travel time. So unless you drive and they all live very close you constantly behind and people like me end up paying for someone arriving 915 then leaving 950 to try get to the next person.

Don't judge them for having sanity and looking for a job with decent breaks, better work conditions and pay!

RedandYellow24 Mon 22-Jun-15 11:37:04

By the way I pay agency 14.95-21 per hour they pay staff mim wage or 50p over if qualified.

ilovesooty Mon 22-Jun-15 11:37:57

I've just helped one of my clients apply for a similar job. She's done customer service work before but not care work but her mother is an experienced care worker and she has a good understanding of what the job requires. She addressed all the job specification fully in her application.

If you had a detailed job specification you will surely be able to weed out unsuitable applicants.

Molecule Mon 22-Jun-15 11:39:19

As pps have said, it's not so much the work that sucks but the working conditions. Minimum wage, zero hour contracts, often not paid between calls, so may have 45 minutes to kill mid-morning away from home, having to work weekends, Christmas etc, usually for very little extra, wear and tear on their cars, sometimes filthy conditions, violent, unpredictable clients, constantly rushed so unable to give appropriate care.

Compared to this a low-skill, minimum wage job with contracted hours would seem fantastic.

fortyfide Mon 22-Jun-15 11:41:58

YES, Lordsandadies, that is a disturbing amount of applications for a routine job. It says a lot about our level of unemployment. The official figure are a vast under estimate.

BikketBikketBikket Mon 22-Jun-15 11:43:50

As I read the OP, the job that is being advertised is not a Care role, but the OP is amazed (and concerned) about how many of the applicants for a job requiring no qualifications have worked in the Care sector in the past -- or am I confused? confused

whothehellknows Mon 22-Jun-15 11:43:58

Yes to what the previous posters have said. The pay is so low that people often don't stay in care work and it often attracts people with little or no experience. If jobs are hard to come by in your area, an advert will attract loads of people. But there are career carers out there, some of them highly trained and educated, so it's well worth the time to sift through and find the best.

Stinkerbellabumsmella Mon 22-Jun-15 11:44:07

I worked for a care company a couple of months back. It is very badly paid especially when you take in to account the weight of responsibilities upon you.

We had to administer vital medications, eye drops, change catheter bags etc, all with very little training. We were all on zero hour contracts and if the weather was bad you were still expected to drive up hill and down dale.

My DM was a HCA with he NHS and she said that medication administration is a bit of a grey area, she had done her NVQ level 3 and even she couldn't hand out medication yet I walked straight into a carer position with a couple of mere induction days under my belt and some common sense.

If you don't have any relevant qualifications when you start your position, the company should put you on an NVQ course, I didn't stay long enough to complete mine.
I can honestly say that the people whom I worked with were dedicated, compassionate, scrupulous and caring, there will of course be the exceptions and I agree that something is amiss within the whole system when recruiting new carers.

I loved it and would definitely consider going back to something similar with the intention of moving on to something better in future, not many people stick it. It's emotionally and physically draining but please be reassured hat there are a lot of excellent carers out there.

lordsandladies Mon 22-Jun-15 11:45:15

Sorry to mislead, i'm not discounting the candidates with care experience. though those who hop around every couple of months with no single lengthy period anywhere I am.

I just find it shocking to see "Care Assistant" listed next to "Meat packer" and "Salon receptionist".

There is nothing wrong with those roles either but it devalues the fact that people are wholly responsible for another human beings safety and comfort in those times they are working, its not like any other job and just shouldn't be the same. there should be training and support and proper screening of applicants.

And shock red at the difference between your pay and what makes it to the carer!

Pootles2010 Mon 22-Jun-15 11:47:56

Its not well paid enough to be a proper 'career' for most people. Where would the extra money come from if they were to be paid more?

lordsandladies Mon 22-Jun-15 11:50:09

Bikket you are correct

forty thats since Friday, they are still pinging through at least once every half an hour! I'm actually going to have to take the job down.

If it wouldn't out me i'd say the job, but suffice to say while I know we are lovely and will look after staff, from a candidates point of view the job is akin to kebab shop grill scraper. We are in an ex mining area.

PermedOwlOfVeronica Mon 22-Jun-15 11:54:26

My mother is a carer and I can well understand why people want out of it.

She deals with intimate personal care, cleans up all sorts of bodily fluids and administers medicines. Given the average age of her clients she can be the first person to find out that someone has died when she walks in an finds the body. She starts at 6am and often doesn't finish until 11pm. For that work she is paid a few pence over national minimum wage. But she drives hundreds of miles a month between clients and is expected to fund the majority of her petrol herself. She doesn't get paid for that driving, only the time in the client's home which reduces her paid hours considerably. Between that and the deductions the agency makes for "training" sessions she is earning less than NMW. She worked 6am-10pm (with a couple of hours break at lunch when nobody wants care) Mon-Fri last week and earnt£140, out of which will need to be paid a big chunk of petrol

When conditions are like this it's no surprise that people don't want to be carers and many people who need care have to put up with substandard carers.

Mrsjayy Mon 22-Jun-15 11:55:09

There is a care company in my area who i am sure wait outside the high school gates on leaving day to employ young girls (mostly) to work for them care work is often untrained poorly paid and under valued people need a job the employers will take them on and leave them to just get on with it it is a sad state imo.

Mrsjayy Mon 22-Jun-15 12:00:12

I have a family member who has qualifications and trained she is a carer but she says the carers she has coming through her service is ridiculous there is also no continuity for the people that need the care the people she works with need structure and security and if its different faces every other month it upsets them. Humans who need care are not really valued imo

Mrsjayy Mon 22-Jun-15 12:02:23

My relative has been at her job years and when she started the guidelines were a lot stricter and nobody could do her job without a qualification

Misslgl88 Mon 22-Jun-15 12:10:04

I home cared when I was 18 for four years with an 8 month break in between when I had my DD. Before I went in to caring I didn't have any experience per se but I had stayed with my great granny at weekends when she broke her hip and took care of her. I realised then that caring and eventually nursing was what I wanted to do with my life.

Pretty much as soon as I started I was put through my nvq level 2 and medicines management, catheter care and peg feeding training and I thoroughly enjoyed my job but I don't think I would enjoy it now so much has changed. I am now an auxiliary nurse with nhs and hoping to complete my nurse training soon.

But as op seems to be saying it's whatever staff they can get (high turnover maybe?) whether trained or not whereas when I got my job last year preference was given to those with the required qualifications and so much caring experience but I understand this may differ between different trusts

Misslgl88 Mon 22-Jun-15 12:13:05

Oh and just to add working conditions in the nhs aren't great either and pay is poor but I really enjoy my job and do it to help others. I fear that if pay issues are not addressed then care is going to get worse as people will just give up and feel it not worth while. And 12 hour shifts should be done away with, I used to do them on placement and by the time my shift was over all I wanted to do was go home and I could feel my patience wearing thin

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