Skills for Care & Development: A Question of Care
Industry sector: Care
Skills for Care & Development (SfC&D) is the sector skills council for people providing social work, social care and children’s services to the people of the UK. It is an Alliance of four organisations: Care Council for Wales; Northern Ireland Social Care Council; Scottish Social Services Council, and Skills for Care. The sector is one of the largest in the UK, with over 62,000 employers and a total workforce of over 1.87 million providing essential services to 5 million people in every community in the UK.
The challenge was to support employers who face the need to draw some 90,000 new workers into the sector each year for the foreseeable future. The Recruiting a World Class Workforce initiative implemented by SfC&D aims to make a significant contribution to addressing this challenge.
One of the project’s main goals was the introduction of an innovative and freely available online Situational Judgement Test, designed to present a realistic picture of work in the sector and enable job seekers to test their own values, attitudes and other attributes against the characteristics needed by employers and those using care services. The test also needed to be of direct use to employers as they recruit a high quality and sustainable workforce.
A public tendering exercise was held to find the agency which could best work with SfC&D to develop the complex content and the online delivery system for the test. a&dc were successful in the tendering process and close partnership work began late in 2012.
The online tool developed by a&dc provides potential applicants with a realistic job preview allowing them to assess their own values, attitudes and other attributes against the characteristics needed by employers and those using services in the care sector.
a&dc first worked with representatives from the sector across the UK to develop a framework of the attributes employers look for in care workers. This framework was used as the foundation for the development of a series of short video clips with accompanying questions, allowing individuals to preview the profiles of 2-3 example roles in the sector and then judge which actions are the most appropriate in relation to the values expected of a care worker. An individual’s answers are then matched against the consensus of sector experts to generate an automated profile giving feedback about the enquirer’s fit against the values needed for care work.
A Question of Care: a Career for YOU?
The resulting resource was A Question of Care: a Career for YOU? www.aquestionofcare.org.uk
As a free, largely self-managing online resource, A Question of Care offers a sustainable approach to raising awareness of careers in the care sector.
Its key features are presented to the sector as follows:
- A realistic job preview called ‘A Question of Care’: “Try our interactive video challenge ‘A Question of Care: a Career for YOU’ to see what a career in care is like. At the end you`ll receive a detailed personal profile that tells you if you’ve got what it takes to join us!”
- Video clips with accounts by real care workers and the people they support giving further understanding of the work in the care sector and the rewards it can bring.
- FAQs with information on the site, the ‘Challenge’ and how to find out more details about working in the care sector along with guidance for its use by employers.
- It is an open access website which potential applicants can visit any time they choose, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via a simple
and easy interface which delivers a seamless and enjoyable experience for all users.
- It is accessible through a range of internet devices with varying screen sizes, including mobile devices (ie smartphones and tablets),
laptops and desktop computers.
- The tool is available in both English and Welsh.
“I think A Question of Care is an excellent resource to help people understand the complexities of the roles and raise awareness of the many different types of jobs within the industry.”
What the Client says
“The idea of a fully automated, video-based online recruitment resource was an entirely new approach for the care sector. We knew the quality of our partner agency would be a crucial factor for the success of the project, in terms of both their technical expertise and their approach to partnership working. a&dc brought strengths in both these areas, and the inevitable challenges of the development process were resolved through close collaboration, skill and flexibility. A process which could have been arduous was in fact very positive, with clear personal commitment on the part of people involved in the work within a&dc. The result is a resource which has attracted immediate enthusiasm from its direct users as well as careers advisors, college tutors and employers who are promoting its use.” Project & Development Manager, Skills for Care & Development