Council to debate carers

Woodhill House. Copyright Colin Walker
Woodhill House. Copyright Colin Walker
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Aberdeenshire Council’s Social Work and Housing Committee will meet today (Thursday) to discuss the authority’s progress in recruiting care staff.

The council have struggled in recent times to recruit staff into carers roles, with the ruling Aberdeenshire Alliance coalition, made up of Tory, Lib Dem, Labour and Indepedent members, blaming the multi-million pound underspend in the council’s budget on the fact.

Members will learn about the range of initiatives the council is undertaking to recruit residential care and home care staff in the face of low unemployment in the area and a number of vacancies across all parts of the organisation.

Aberdeenshire has only around 1.3% of it’s population unemployed compare with the Scottish average of 7.3%.

In the year to June 2012, Aberdeenshire experienced a 92% growth in the number of vacancies (all jobs, all sectors) and Scotland experienced a 52% growth in vacancies during the same period.

Committee member and Banchory SNP Councillor Linda Clark told the Piper that recruiting carers had been a “tough task,” adding: ‘‘ In Aberdeenshire, we are in a bit of a bubble economically and some people don’t see the benefits of becoming carers.

“But I would say that there has to be a solution to tackling the problem, especially with an aging population in the region. I would encourage anyone thinking about a career in care to give it go, it is a big task but a worthwhile task and can lead to a very good career.”

Chair of the Committee Cllr Karen Clark said: We’re in a situation presently that calls for recruitment in home care staff especially.

‘‘I think we have adone a lot in terms of boosting apprentice schemes.

‘‘We had a big uptake recently and now have five new modern apprentices in home care.

“I hope people decide on this very rewarding career, which is something people might not neccesarily think about.

‘‘When I speak to carers you can just tell that they get so much out of it, they get a lot of training in some very difficult tasks.

“In Aberdeenshire, people often have the choice of well paid jobs but we all need carers badly. A lot of our current workforce are retiring and we need young people to come up and replace them.”

The latest figures show that the council is on target as 35 new home carers have been recruited and the council has also filled 57 home carer vacancies.

The council is still looking for people keen to start a career in socialcare.

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