Stop calling carers low-skilled! Why aren’t care workers valued as they should be?

Posted by Anni Ojanperä

New government rules are pushing care workers into the unskilled bracket and the impact the new immigration rules could worsen the already bad deficit of care workers. Shouldn’t the government make it easier to find and hire care workers?

Instead, “social care is crumbling, and Johnson’s immigration plans will only make it worse” as Polly Toynbee phrased it (20th Feb).

How did this happen? Why aren’t care workers valued as they should?

“Low-skilled worker” my a**, shame on you Priti Patel"

The home secretary, Priti Patel, introduced the new immigration system and described it by saying that the government was “no longer going to have a route for low-skilled workers to come to the UK.”

They would prohibit anyone with earnings less than £25k to enter the UK. As care assistant’s starting salaries are £17.6k and nurses’ £24,2k a year, this would mean that care workers are considered as low-skilled workers.

Shame on you Priti Patel!

Many tweeters were upset about Patel’s choice of words and defended the care workers on Twitter. They requested the members of parliament to try the job as it’s supposedly such an easy job.

In reality, care workers do many different jobs at the same time; they work as a nurse, a physio, a cleaner, a cook, a social worker and a therapist for the lonely elderly. This would mean that they would deserve the salary of all those occupations.

It’s most definitely not a low-skilled job! Care workers are required many qualifications, constant training, social skills and motivation for the job as it’s not known for high salaries. If anything, it’s the hardest yet low-paid job.

Why aren’t care workers valued as they should be?

The rage of the tweeters on social media tells us how annoyed they are by the underestimation of care workers. But how did this happen? Why aren’t care workers valued as they should?

Does the government see foreign labour as a threat to native labour rather than an opportunity? One of the reasons for blocking the entrance to the UK is if one isn’t fluent in English. Well, good luck trying to find enough British to fill the shortage of workers, that is currently plaguing the country.

Some people wonder whether the underestimation of the industry is due to the fact that it is such a female-dominated sector. Hopefully, that’s not the case! That would be an old fashioned perspective.

Most of the people working in social care are highly motivated in helping others. One needs to have the motivation and emotional intelligence to be good at the job. You can hire inactive people and encourage them to do social care, but that doesn’t mean that they would be any good at it.

Thank and reward carers instead of shaming

We are in debt to all of those working as care workers as they are taking care of our loved ones. They should be highly valued not pressed down! We should thank and reward them for the hard job they are doing. So here is our thank you to all of you:

“Thank you for all the care workers for taking care of our loved ones!

We’ve witnessed the hard work you are doing as our loved ones have either worked as carers or needed your caring. It’s a challenging job that requires both skill and compassion, and you have both.

None of us can go to work, hang our emotions on a hanger and enter the desk without the joys and sorrows of our personal life. One of the main things we keep on thinking about is our loved ones and how they are doing while we are at work.

Your work makes it possible for us to be confident that our loved ones are doing well during our working days. We can trust that they are in your caring hands and that’s why we can concentrate on our job. Basically, your work enables the whole of society to function at all.

You work long hours helping our loved ones and enabling them to stay fit longer. We are forever grateful for that.

One day it will be our turn to receive care, and that day we will personally experience the value of your work. For our own sake, we hope that we have remembered to value your work and fight for your rights because every decision we do today affects our and our children’s future.

Thank you for the job you are doing. In our eyes, you are the heroes of social care!”