Data by GetMyFirstJob has revealed that coronavirus has led to the number of young people wanting to work in health and social care increasing by 79 per cent in a year.
Comparing data from July-September 2019 to July-September 2020, findings reveal that health and social care has risen from tenth to fourth in the most preferred career pathway rankings for young people in Britain.
Aaron, 18, from Bristol hopes to embark on a career in the care sector. He said: “During lockdown I realised how much I like helping and caring for people. My dad has worked in a pharmacy through the pandemic, and I have a strong belief that everyone has the right to live the fullest life possible, regardless of their age or ability, and I hope I can be part of making many people’s lives better.
“A career in care would provide me with a very satisfying and fulfilling way to earn a living and a great way to give back to others using my talents and passion. People want to work in this sector because we want to help, especially as I’m young – the virus might not affect us so much but we want to look after older people and make sure that we can give back to them.”
Julie Hyde, executive director for education & training strategy at awarding organisation NCFE, says: “These findings provide a good deal of optimism for the long-term of these sectors, which are so vital for our economy and society. We cannot underestimate however the impact so far of the recruitment challenges faced by the health and social care sector, struggling with a critical shortfall in qualified staff and a historical drop in the number of young people and apprentices being recruited to fill the gap.
“Coupled with the fact that this age group has already been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, it is critical that we maximise the opportunity presented by the findings. This means supporting career development for young people, to satisfy the demand for skilled workers in a way the economy needs. We need to see an equal desire from employers to being open to recruit younger adults for these crucial roles.”