A care assistant from Bradford is spearheading a campaign to get more staff taking jobs in the care sector.
Sheila Wardman, 66, who has worked at Springfield care home in Western Way, Buttershaw, for ten years, is encouraging job seekers to join the care sector to help meet the demands of Britain’s ageing population.
She is worried by figures from a new report that England could face a shortfall of 718,000 care workers by 2025.
The report by Anchor and the International Longevity Centre has also found there are more than 64,160 people in Yorkshire at present who have been diagnosed or are likely to have dementia.
Mrs Wardman said she was proud to work in care and got job satisfaction going home at the end of the day knowing she had helped people. But with women making up 82 per cent of the care workforce, more men are desperately needed.
She said: “The care sector needs to attract a wider range of staff – young and old. We need more men to consider care as a potential career – particularly as men are living longer. Our workforce should reflect the diversity of our residents.
“The reason I love my job is because I like caring for older people, helping them get the best out of life. I enjoy spending time with them, talking about their lives. When I go home, I always feel I’ve done a good job helping them.”
Mrs Wardman is the face of the Yorkshire campaign for charity Anchor, which is England’s largest not-for-profit provider of housing and care to older people.
More research in the report from Anchor found that 98 per cent of young people in Yorkshire aged 16 to 25 agree care is a suitable job for a man, but 40 per cent of them have not considered becoming a carer.
The report also found three quarters of over-50s questioned said they had never considered a career in care, but 47 per cent would be persuaded if they knew they would be supported by training.
Mrs Wardman said becoming a carer was an ideal job for older people wanting to make a change at work and added: “I was surprised older workers didn’t realise the benefits of working in care. I’ve had plenty of regular training, which helps me do my job well and there’s flexibility of hours.”
Anyone wanting to find out more about a career in care should go to www.facebook.com/anchorjobs.