ALTHOUGH being a carer can be a challenging job, a career in the care industry can be a very rewarding experience.

People who have physical or psychological problems often require practical help coping with the everyday business of living.

Social care workers provide this practical support. It takes a certain kind of person to be a carer and it does not matter who you are, how old you are, or your academic qualifications – somewhere in the community there is a job which you can do helping others.

If you like working with people, social care work offers a worthwhile job which could turn into a rewarding career.

People will be given training for the skills they need to do the job well, and there will be plenty of opportunities to acquire more skills and qualifications such as NVQs.

Some social care workers train to become social workers, with responsibility for assessing and planning the levels of support which people need.

Many social care workers are home care assistants or work in residential care homes. But there is also a wide range of jobs working with children, families and young people and people with disabilities.

Typical job titles include care worker, support worker, key worker and care assistant, but there are many others.

An employer could be a council, a small business, or a voluntary organisation.

If you are interested in exploring a career in care, there is a huge range of jobs in social care work, with many offering flexible hours which might suit you better than the conventional nine-to-five.

You could also work part-time to balance a job with the rest of your life.

But, however you choose to work, you will be doing a job which is varied and worthwhile.

n For further details on a career in care, visit The Department of Health’s website at