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Care Careers FAQs

Looking to work in care?

  • BTEC First, Extended Certificate and Diploma in Health and Social: is from entry level to level 2. It is an introduction to work in a vocational sector. It can help you take your first steps towards a career caring for people and communities. You’ll learn the essential skills needed to support people with a wide range of needs, from babies and toddlers to adults and the elderly.
  • BTEC National Diploma in Health and Social: is a Level 3 (similar standard to A levels). Both the diploma and national qualification can lead to higher level study in health and social care, allow you go to university or go straight into work or take on an apprenticeship. This course will prepare you for work in health and social care by focusing on practical, work-related skills.
  • Cambridge Nationals in Health and Social Care are targeted at 14-19 year olds in schools, it is a vocationally-related qualification and can be studied at Award, Certificate and Diploma, with the Certificate being the same size as a GCSE. The Level 3 qualifications has UCAS points, supporting progression to HE.
  • GCE Health and Social Care: offers both Single and Double Awards, with a qualification in GCE Health and Social Care, students can go on to degree-level study in a variety of subjects such as health studies, social policy, social science, social studies, psychology, nursing and/or social work. Other students go on to complete a BTEC Diploma in Health and Social Care, some students go straight into employment in the fields of health and social care.

The most important qualities are an interest in people, to have empathy and respect. Employers will want to know if you care about people and want to make a difference, you are compassionate and understand about people’s needs. Clients requiring care will want to know that you will treat them with dignity and respect.
You will also need:

  • Good communication and listening skills
  • Able to work on your own initiative and prioritise your workload
  • And the ability to work as part of team
Other qualities include being able to work in a non-judgemental way, and abide confidentiality and the ability to write the care plans. Attached is Skills for Care - Skills Guide.

To find out if you have the right values and behaviours to work in Care, to work effectively with people who need care and support, check out the Skills for Care Values and Behaviours.

You can information on job descriptions and pay rates on the Prospect Careers, you can search for information by either job role or sector. The care sector is also known as social care, adult social care, children’s social care and health care.

There are a variety of shift patterns available to people who work in care, depending on the setting. In residential care, for example you could work a morning, afternoon or overnight shift to suit your home life and other commitments

There are over 130 establishments registered with the Care Quality Commission providing adult social care services in Wolverhampton and currently, there are over 500 live vacancies. So, there are plenty of opportunities in Wolverhampton. Ask your Wolves at Work Coach or Job Centre of the current opportunities, there are also apprenticeship and graduate opportunities too, visit the Skills for Care for graduate opportunities or the NHS website for careers.

Visit the Careers into Care jigsaw, it will provide an insight into care roles, the types of services requiring care, where you are likely to work and variety of employers. A "Question of Care" is a short online questionnaire which can help you determine if Career in Care is right for you?

The Wolverhampton Education Business Partnership (EBP) have an on-line a database of companies who are willing to offer work experience placements. Your Work Experience Co-ordinator at your school or college can provide you access to this. For ‘Your practical guide to finding a work experience placement’

  • BTEC First, Extended Certificate and Diploma in Health and Social: is from entry level to level 2. It is an introduction to work in a vocational sector. It can help you take your first steps towards a career caring for people and communities. You’ll learn the essential skills needed to support people with a wide range of needs, from babies and toddlers to adults and the elderly.
  • BTEC National Diploma in Health and Social: is a Level 3 (similar standard to A levels). Both the diploma and national qualification can lead to higher level study in health and social care, allow you go to university or go straight into work or take on an apprenticeship. This course will prepare you for work in health and social care by focusing on practical, work-related skills.
  • Cambridge Nationals in Health and Social Care are targeted at 14-19 year olds in schools, it is a vocationally-related qualification and can be studied at Award, Certificate and Diploma, with the Certificate being the same size as a GCSE. The Level 3 qualifications has UCAS points, supporting progression to HE.
  • GCE Health and Social Care: offers both Single and Double Awards, with a qualification in GCE Health and Social Care, students can go on to degree-level study in a variety of subjects such as health studies, social policy, social science, social studies, psychology, nursing and/or social work. Other students go on to complete a BTEC Diploma in Health and Social Care, some students go straight into employment in the fields of health and social care.

Introduction or Preparation to Care - There are various providers offering Introductory courses. Providers are offering both a 5 day course and a 12 weeks course (½ day a week) which include literacy and numeracy. This will give you the basic knowledge to work in care, provide an understanding of your role and responsibilities and give you the tools you require to go to an interview and speak with confidence. You will also have the opportunity to review whether Care is for you.

Level 1, 2 and 3 - This will give you a recognised qualification, you can take it to any employer and it will provide confidence to an employer you can work at a certain level and standard. To undertake a level 2 you will be required to undertake some work in a care setting whether that is an employed capacity or volunteering capacity. To study a level 3 you will be required to be working in a care setting. It is for care workers or those wishing to progress to senior care worker roles.

There are various local providers providing different levels of study from full time to part time, introductory to higher level qualifications. Speak to your careers advisor at your local college or training provider to find out more or see the local training provision matrix.

Adult Education Wolverhampton Jobchange City of Wolverhampton College Wolves at Work Wolverhampton University Job Centre City of Wolverhampton Council
Responding to employer recruitment x x x x x
Preparation to work in Care x x
Level 1 in Care x
Level 1 Practical Care skills x
Level 2 Apprenticeship in Care – Employed in Care x
Level 3 Apprenticeship in Care – Employed in care x
Level 5 Apprenticeship in Health and Social Care Management – Employed in Care x
Specialist courses x x

Typically, a Preparation to Care course will include:

  • Health & Safety in Social Care
  • Food Safety
  • Person Centred Care
  • Safeguarding
  • Infection Control
  • Equality & Diversity
  • Starting with an Introduction to Care will give you the starting point to Care. It will give you the basic knowledge you will require to enter into care.
  • By studying Care you will gain an understanding of your role and responsibilities as well as gain an understanding of some of the topic such as safeguarding, being professional, health and safety, handling medicine safely, communication and interview skills, etc.
  • Some of the longer courses will even cover ICT, English and Math’s which are important if you like to progress your career.
  • Did you know, you can study Math’s and English at any time even when you are working at no cost to you or your employer.
  • Some of the courses are fully funded, have a discussion with your chosen training provider.
  • It will make you more employable.
  • You will be more confident when attending interviews.

The care certificate is based on 15 standards which you will need to complete in full before you can be awarded the certificate and will take you around 3 months to complete. These standards are:

  1. Understanding your role
  2. Awareness of mental health, dementia and learning disabilities
  3. Your personal development
  4. Safeguarding adults
  5. Safeguarding children
  6. Duty of care
  7. Equality & diversity
  8. Basic life support
  9. Health & safety
  10. Safe handling
  11. Infection prevention and control
  12. Fluids & nutrition
  13. Privacy & dignity
  14. Communication
  15. Work in a person-centred way

A Sector Based Work Academy is generally employer-led designed to meet the employer’s recruitment need, delivered via the Job Centre. Sector Based Work Academy is pre-employment training which will include work experience with a guaranteed interview with the relevant employer. You will continue to receive benefits whilst undertaking the training and you may be able to access support towards travel, too. If you are thinking of attending a SBWA, speak to your Job Centre Work Coach first.

Some course can be funded but it will depend on your current situation, are you working, receiving benefits, etc. It is important to gain some advice, speak to to your careers advisor at your local college or training provider who can advise you appropriately.

In most Care roles, you have to keep a log of the care you have provided. Writing Care logs or plans in coherent way is important. You may be also required to administer medicine to some of people you are providing care to, again it will make your employers and those receiving care from you more confident that you can do this in a safe way.

Disability Confident is a government led initiative that is designed to help employers recruit and retain disabled people and people with health conditions for their skills and talent, to access this provision you can speak to your Advisor at the Job Centre. Locally, an organisation called Enable, commissioned by the City Council, also support people with disabilities to find and keep a job, email Enable on EnableWolverhampton@shropshire.gov.uk

Additionally, The Work and Health programme is aimed at those with health conditions or disabilities to support them find and keep a job, local providers are:

- Shaw Trust - www.shaw-trust.org.uk
- Remploy - www.remploy.co.uk

There is not much difference between work experience and volunteering, Work experience gives you direct experience in an area of work you want to work in. it tends to be short term from between 2-6 weeks. Volunteering can be for a longer periods of time.

However, both work experience and volunteering can give you whole host of benefits. The main ones are being able to build up experience to put on your CV and up-to-date references. Most employers want to know what you’ve been doing in the last three to six months, regardless of your experience prior to that.

  • Up to date experience and reference you can put on your CV
  • Chance to gain new skills and experience which may be relevant to jobs you are applying for
  • Up to date reference which will be treated as a professional reference
  • A chance to attend training, even if it is in-house training which will help to develop your skills and knowledge
  • Get you into a routine and the habit of working
  • Give you experience of making applications and attending interviews
  • It also provides range of health benefits including your physical and mental health.

Skills for the Workforce contract is being delivered by Calderdale College can provide Skills for the Workforce. For local advice on training and staff development contact the Wolves at Work team. In addition Skills for Care have an approved provider list. If you wish for advice of what training will be suitable for you staff and where to find it please give Wolves at Work a call.

Work experience gives individuals direct experience in an area of work. It is usually short-term between 2-6 weeks. For employers considering taking on individuals for Work Experience please contact Graham Brown.

The Black Country Care Partnership includes a number of local care employers working in collaboration across the Black Country. In Wolverhampton, the Careers into Care partnership aim to improve access to jobs and training for individuals considering careers in care. For more information please contact Brendan Clifford.

Your first point of call will be to speak to the Job Centre. A Sector Based Work Academy is a DWP service. It is aimed at supporting employer recruitment. It includes pre-employment training, work experience with the relevant employer and a guaranteed interview. There is no direct cost to the employer and the candidates will continue to receive benefits whilst attending the SBWA , they may also be eligible for travel costs – ask them to speak to their Job Centre Work Coach before starting.

Jobs fairs and events are held regularly throughout the year, view our events page for upcoming local events. For information about employer events and conferences visit Invest.

Skills for Care is an industry body. It offers practical help and support to employers in the Care sector with development support for their staff, to leading the way on quality standards, to much more. Becoming a member of Skills for Care will give you access to host of resources and materials, click here.

The Black Country Growth Hub provides business support for organisations in the Black Country. There are a whole host of benefits for local businesses seeking support to grow. Visit the website to find out more.For further support to start, grow and succeed visit invest Wolverhampton.

Invest is the City’s brand to attract investment to the city, to find out more click here.