Almost nine-tenths (86%) of respondents open to a career in the NHS despite mixed media messages.

Two-fifths of employees concerned about potential implications of National Living Wage implementation.

Three-fifths of social care workers are busier than a year ago as staffing shortage bites.

The vast majority of health and social care job hunters are receptive to a role with the National Health Service (NHS) despite the varied reception it receives from the UK’s media, according to social care recruitment agency Randstad Care.

The specialist recruiter recently held a number of open days at its branches across the UK and polled hundreds of social care workers looking for new – or indeed their first – opportunities on pertinent issues affecting the sector. Almost nine-tenths of health and social care job hunters were open to a career within the NHS, with just 14% admitting that mixed media coverage of the health service dissuaded them from considering it as a potential employer. Two-thirds of those polled were eyeing up their a role in the public sector, with those eyeing such a position citing motivations such as a desire “to help people who can’t afford private care as they still need our support”. Others felt their skill sets were more suited to a role in the private sector.

"job hunters are erring towards public sector roles"

Victoria Short, MD of Randstad Care, said : “There are advantages and disadvantages of both public and private sector roles within the social care space – such as the diversity of work and opportunities available in the former and the potentially more lucrative nature of the latter – but our recent snapshot would suggest that current job hunters are erring towards public sector roles. The sometimes chequered coverage that the NHS receives in the media does not deter health and social care workers from wanting to pursue a career in the public sector either, with many individuals all too aware that only the negative stories tend to garner column inches with much of the sterling work going unreported.

“It’s worth remembering that the UK healthcare provision is the envy of most of the world and is service that we sometimes take for granted. Most people embark on a career in social care because they are driven by an inherent desire to help people and put others before themselves and doing this in a free-to-use public healthcare system embodies this motivation for a lot of people.”