The coronavirus emergency has presented a “real opportunity” to address the skills, pay and recruitment gap plaguing the social care sector.
That is the opinion of GMB – a trade union that represents over 600,000 workers.
The added pressures faced by hospitals, care homes and other similar agencies mean that there is a real chance to address staff shortages due to poor pay and conditions to attract workers to what are “very satisfying and essential jobs”, it said.
GMB London, the union for workers in the care sector, is calling on care home providers in London and East of England to work with Job Centres, local authorities and unions to fill current and future vacancies by offering job training and job opportunities to workers currently laid off due to the current public health emergency.
The trade union issued the plea as figures for those appying for Universal Credit – the benefit for those without work – passed the million mark.
Michael Ainsley, GMB London regional officer for the care sector, said the unprecedented increase in unemployment comes in site of widespread acceptance that there is skills and recruitment shortage in the care sector.
He said: “Care work provides for serious job satisfaction for workers in wholly essential jobs caring for our elderly and vulnerable people in society.
“What it has not provided for lower grades are jobs paying reasonable rates of pay and decent conditions.
“The risks of serious staff shortages in the care sector are real.
“There is now a real opportunity to finally address the problem of poor pay and conditions and to offer these satisfying jobs to the huge numbers out of work due to the health emergency.”