Development and career progression
Wherever you start your career, there are always opportunities to progress. Progression can be
- sideways into a different type of job (which could involve working in a different setting or with a different group of people),
- move up into a job with more responsibility which requires new skills, knowledge and qualifications.
Social care is continually changing to meet the needs of an ageing population and people living longer with multiple conditions. There's greater focus on supporting people to live independently, often at home, and reducing the need for hospital treatment. This means that care organisations are working in new ways, creating lots of new and exciting roles, including jobs that cover both social care and health, and roles that focus on specialist knowledge such as dementia, end of life, learning disability or autism care.
One of the good things about social care is the range of roles available. This means:
- there are lots of opportunities to progress
- you're always doing something that interests you
- you can find new challenges
- you'll stay motivated
- you can learn new things
How can I progress?
Progressing in your career is partly your responsibility and partly your employers.
A really good way to progress in your career is by doing qualifications relevant to your role. There are over 50 vocational qualifications at different levels in social care. Your employer might pay for qualifications or you could apply for a government grant or loan which can help make qualifications and training more affordable.
Apprenticeships are also available for new and existing staff of any age. The level of the qualification you do might be lower than an academic qualification you already hold, such as an A-Level or an undergraduate degree. This is because they teach you the practical knowledge and skills you need for your specific role or the role you want to progress into.
Training - You can attend training workshops in your workplace or complete online e-learning to help you progress. This doesn't have to be accredited but can be relevant to the requirements of the job.
There are also other things you could do to help you progress:
- make the most of supervision
- work in an organisation that's committed to training their staff
- ask about opportunities to mentor or shadow other workers
- look for informal learning opportunities, such as free online training
- volunteer to attend events relevant to your role such as conferences or careers fairs
- take on projects or develop new pieces of work or ways of working.