Staff power harnessed to help recruit more care workers

Alice Kerry, care worker and activity coordinator at Ladycross House, Sandiacre

11 September 2017

We've turned to our greatest asset − our own staff − to help recruit more care workers.

Seven members of our direct care team have been chosen to head up a campaign to encourage more people into the profession.

The six women and a man − who do a variety of jobs helping older and disabled people in Derbyshire lead independent and dignified lives - feature on promotional materials including posters and pull-up banners which are being taken to job fairs and recruitment events around the county.

Videos of the care workers talking about why they love the rewarding work they do are also being used on social media and our website to encourage more people to think about a career with Derbyshire.

Our cabinet member for adult care Councillor Jean Wharmby said:

"I never cease to be amazed by the inspirational work our care staff do every day to make a difference to the lives of older and disabled people in Derbyshire.

"There are lots of myths about care work, including that it's only about personal care or that it's badly paid or unsatisfying. Or that the people who do it only do it because there's nothing else.

"But that's not the case at all. It's incredibly rewarding work and if you're employed by Derbyshire County Council you get good pay and conditions, excellent holidays and a good pension.

"But don't take it from me,"

she added,

"take it from the people who know − the people who do the job every day and love it."

One of the recruitment campaign's ambassadors is Nova Fearon, a care worker at Briar Close House care home in Borrowash, who, in her video, talks about why she loves working for Derbyshire.

She says:

"It's a lovely job. I love it."

Nova, who's been a care worker with us for 13 years, says staff are well supported and are always learning something new.

One of her most precious memories is when one of the home's residents calls her a friend rather than a member of staff.

Other staff members filmed as part of the campaign include:

  • Craig Lunn, a care worker who visits people in their own homes in the Derbyshire Dales area
  • Abbie Canning, a senior care worker in Staveley
  • Alice Kerry, an activity co-ordinator at Ladycross House in Sandiacre
  • Adelle Fernihough, who works in Ashbourne
  • Lynsey Arthur, a care worker (community) in Clowne
  • Diane Jones from Tapton, a former nursery nurse who's been with the county council for almost 17 years.

Councillor Wharmby said:

"Our care workers do a fantastic job supporting older and disabled people in Derbyshire so we've turned to them to help us find more people like them.

"By using our own valued staff, we're hoping to appeal to a wide audience of potential employees, including men, returners to work, students, school leavers and people looking for a change of career.

"As people live longer and have more complex needs, it's vital we have enough staff to help meet the growing demand for care."

We offer good terms and conditions, pay rates above the National Living Wage and paid travel time between calls. We also offer staff:

  • five weeks holiday and eight bank holidays a year - pro rata. After five years staff get an extra five days (pro rata)
  • extra pay for unsocial hours − for working after 7pm or before 7am
  • extra pay for working on a bank holiday
  • mileage allowance − including increased payments for care staff who work in rural areas and have further to travel.
  • no zero hours contracts.

Currently, we employ around 1,000 care staff in a variety of roles helping people in their own homes, our residential homes, specialist dementia centres and day centres.

There are 70 vacancies across the county, especially in rural areas such as Bakewell, Ashbourne, Darley Dale and the Hope Valley, plus surrounding villages.

The work would suit someone returning to work after having children, a young person over 18 looking to take up a rewarding career, somebody who wants an apprenticeship or even a person who's retired from a different career but doesn't want to give up work quite yet.

"We need a wide variety of people, including men who are very under-represented in our workforce,"

added Councillor Wharmby.

The promotional campaign is due to be launched on 12 September 2017, with adverts appearing on Instagram and Facebook.

Anyone interested in starting their career with our direct care service can meet staff and find out more about the rewarding work they do at Derbyshire Skills Festival − the county's biggest careers event for young people.

The skills festival takes place at:

  • Queen's Park Sports Centre
    Boythorpe Road
    S40 2ND
    on Thursday 14 September 2017

  • The Roundhouse
    Derby College
    Roundhouse Road
    DE24 8JE
    on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 September 2017.