Education and Training

What skills are employers looking for?

Some of the skills you need will be specific to the job you’re applying for. However, there are some core skills that all social care workers need. These are English, number, digital and employability skills including team work and problem solving. Lots of employers look for people who are keen to learn and develop. Whatever role you start in you will need to develop your knowledge and understanding and learn new skills that will enable you to do the job. Read more about what qualifications you need for different roles on the Job roles pages

There are lots of ways to start your career in care

Consider a course at school, college or a training organisation

There are courses you can do which will help you understand more about working in social care and provide you with some of the knowledge and skills needed. Some courses may include work experience which will help you into a role. Some social care employers may also run their own pre-employment training programme.

See Courses page for some of the local organisations running social care courses

Join a care sector-routeway

Sector routeways are led by local employment skills teams, they help local people get jobs, find apprenticeships and access training, supporting them to overcome barriers to employment and career progression. By working with employers they run short, industry-specific training courses designed to help out-of-work people secure employment in industries where there are high numbers of vacancies. Speak to your local Job Centre for further information (see Into employment support page).

Apply for an Apprenticeship

With a social care apprenticeship you’ll gain work experience, achieve a qualification and earn a wage. Apprenticeships usually last between 12 months and two years and are mainly work-based – so you can develop your skills on the job. There are different levels of apprenticeships available depending on your skills and experience.

An apprenticeship is a great way to develop your skills and knowledge to become a confident and skilled care worker. If you’re new to adult social care an apprenticeship is a really good place to start. If you already work in social care, you can also do an apprenticeship to help you progress in your career.

You could be working with a range of people. This could include people with learning disabilities and/or autism, physical disabilities, ex-offenders or older people.

Apprenticeships have different levels depending on your skills and experience. If you’re new to social care an intermediate level 2 apprenticeship is a good place to start. When you’re ready to progress you could do an advanced level 3 or intermediate level 4 apprenticeship.

If you’re already working in the sector you can speak to your manager about starting an apprenticeship as part of your career development.

Volunteer or do work experience

If you’re new to adult social care and want to find out if it’s the right career for you, it might be useful to do some work experience or volunteering. Your school, college or jobcentre might be able to help with this or you could contact organisations directly.

Apply for an advertised vacancy

Before you apply, have a think about what types of roles you would like to do. The Career matcher tool (available on this website soon) will help you think about what you want to do, and which role best fits and the Job roles page explains some of the different types of roles in Adult Social Care that you could consider.

No Wrong Door

The No Wrong Door (NWD) initiative aims to make it easier for Londoners to access high-quality support for their employment and skills needs. The focus is to help specific groups of people like disabled people, refugees, young people, older folks, women (trying to get back to work), and people from minoritised ethnic backgrounds.

No Wrong Door means that no matter your starting point or what service you access first, you can be connected to the right type of support at the right time to help you into good work. Visit NWD to get the information you need to support you into training or employment. 

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