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Careers in care

Be The Reason Pink RSCould you or someone you know be the reason others are able to feel safe and cared for?

Providing care and support to older or vulnerable adults can be a hugely rewarding career, knowing that you are making a difference to people's lives every day.

Care providers are one of the largest groups of employers in Essex, and have a diverse range of roles available. This can range from residential and home care to support for people with learning disabilities or mental health issues. More than 450 care and support jobs are advertised every month, including full-time, part-time, and flexible roles that can fit around other commitments. Full training and support is available to new recruits, and there are many opportunities for career progression - see future career options

Free local job fairs

A series of job fairs for people interested in careers in care has just ended. These were organised by Essex County Council, working with district councils, Job Centre Plus and local employers and agencies.  Please check back here for details of future events and information about employers who are recruiting.

Caring Essex

You can read some heartwarming stories from care workers old and new in the Caring Essex supplement. This Newsquest newspaper supplement outlines how Essex County Council providers and staff are working to make a difference to the lives of adults in need of care and support.

What is the Gift of Care campaign?

Be The Reason Green RS

Essex County Council has launched this campaign to change perceptions about working in the care sector, and to support employers in recruiting and training local people. They are working with local councils, care providers, and other partner agencies, to organise a series of events. During these events, social care sector employers who have vacancies can meet job seekers, and find ways to make it easier to recruit, train, and keep quality employees. Activity is focused in areas across the county with the highest need, or where filling jobs is most difficult. You can contact the organisers at:

If you are a provider and you would like to display posters in your place of work, please visit the Gift of Care Resources page.

Future career options

A job in care can help you towards a career pathway to many exciting opportunities such as roles in nursing, midwifery, paramedics, or managing a home or care service. You may also decide to specialise in fields such as dementia care, or helping people with learning disabilities. To see an example of how your career could progress, see our Career Pathway Diagram.

Launch your career in care with ACL

Essex Adult Community Learning offers a range of apprenticeships and programmes in the medical, health, and care sectors, helping you to gain the qualifications you need for a career in this industry. The health and social care sector offers lots of job opportunities. From becoming a qualified care worker or manager to owning your own care provider business.- the opportunities are endless. To find out more, read our apprenticeship brochure, call 03330139502 or email

Career path for health and social care:

  • Traineeship / Study programme (Level 1 Care Certificate)
  • Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Qualified Care Worker
  • Senior Care Worker / Team Manager (Level 4 Diploma QCF)
  • Registered Manager / Deputy Manager (Level 5 Foundation Degree)
  • Area Manager
  • Care business owner

Visit Skills for Care to find out more about careers in health and social care.

Colchester Institute - health and social care courses

Colchester Institute is the largest vocational college in North Essex, and the largest provider of apprenticeships in Essex. Their health and social care courses are delivered by highly qualified tutors with a range of professional healthcare experience, and their expertise is valued by students.

There are excellent resources including well-equipped laboratories, and classrooms with interactive technology. Apprenticeships are available across a wide range of areas within the industry sector including:

  • Assistant Healthcare Practitioner Higher Apprenticeship Level 5
  • Care Leadership and Management Higher Apprenticeship Level 5
  • Clinical Healthcare Support Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Clinical Healthcare Support Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Health and Social Care Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Health and Social Care Intermediate Apprenticeship

To find out more about these apprenticeships, and for live vacancies please visit the Apprenticeships page on the Colchester Institute website.

Could you be a care sector entrepreneur?

Have you ever thought about starting your own business? Do you currently or have you previously worked in the health and social care sector? The Eastern Enterprise Hub is running a free programme on behalf of Essex County Council called the 'Inspiring Entrepreneur Programme for the Care Sector'.

These courses offer potential care sector entrepreneurs business development skills and techniques as they set up a new business.

Led by an experienced Eastern Enterprise Hub facilitator in partnership with expert business leaders, the course will offer a care sector focused action learning programme. Students will apply skills learnt from real life experiences and expertise of established business leaders such as Ashtons Legal, Ensors Chartered Accountants as well as Adult Services commissioners.

The 10 day programme is targeted to various groups and individuals in the care sector including:

  • registered nurses that have left the profession
  • individuals with care experiences that have not been active in the sector
  • individuals looking to start their own business
  • university and college social care graduates

The courses take place at the Wilson Marriage Centre in Colchester, and runs on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.

Digby Chacksfield, CEO, and Eastern Enterprise Hub, speaking at the launch of the programme said: "This is a new course for the Enterprise Hub. The new reality for the care sector is an increase of demand outpacing current business ability to provide care, which means that there is an opportunity for returning and new carers to set up and sustain business and micro enterprises. We want to help people gain business knowledge, become more self-confident and be a part of a community of like-minded business leaders and entrepreneurs, impacting on the care sector."

The need for more alternatives and flexible health care services in Essex has inspired Essex County Council to fund this programme to further support local businesses in effort to maintain a healthy county.

To sign up to the course please visit the Eastern Enterprise Hub website. You can also call or email them at: 01473 527100, or

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