UK private healthcare firm Cera Care announced on Tuesday that it is opening up 10,000 jobs across the country for home care personnel, effectively increasing its workforce by 500 percent: the London-based firm currently employs 2,000 people.
The company, which specializes in home care for the elderly and vulnerable, said it is targeting people who have recently lost their jobs in sectors affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. This would simultaneously help to ease a serious manpower crunch in the sector, according to Cera Care CEO Ben Maruthappu.
“With coronavirus now really affecting the majority of the nation, there are tremendous pressures on the social care system,” Dr Maruthappu said. “The demand is unprecedented. So we are putting people back to work, but also supporting older, vulnerable people and the NHS.”
Successful applicants will be trained through the company’s digital platform, ideally allowing them to obtain formal certifications and start work within 10 days. Furthermore, the roles are intended to last beyond the pandemic, the company said. 12 percent of the UK population is aged 70 and above, and a growing proportion of them will need home care even in the best of times.
The UK’s healthcare system has been put under severe stress by the pandemic, with the government calling for hundreds of thousands of volunteers to join the National Healthcare Service, bringing former staff out of retirement, and pushing final-year students to the frontline. At the same time, economists and industry bodies have warned of massive job losses as the country goes into shutdown. Last week, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced that the government would cover up to 80 percent of workers’ salaries in order to keep them from being laid off.