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A former London cab driver has told of how the COVID-19 pandemic gave him the final push needed to embark on a new career in adult social care.

A former London cab driver has told of how the COVID-19 pandemic gave him the final push needed to embark on a new career in adult social care.

After spending 30 years driving a taxi in London, Ian Wakeling from Harlow, had fallen out of love with his job because it was becoming increasingly difficult to operate amidst roadworks, lane closures, and detours. When COVID-19 shut down the city, Ian decided that this was the sign he needed to take the plunge and explore a career as an adult social carer. 

Having initially ruled it out, assuming that he’d need to have qualifications to even be considered for a role, he started to research the sector further when the pandemic made his current role unviable.

On discovering that no prior experience or qualifications were needed because comprehensive training is provided, Ian applied and now has a full-time role as a Community Care Assistant at Essex Cares Limited. 

Ian enjoys it so much that he is actively encouraging others to also consider a career in adult social care. 

Ian said: “I think there are probably a lot of fantastic candidates for care out there who might be put off by a lack of experience. It certainly prevented me from applying sooner, but they shouldn’t let that stop them. I had been a London cabbie all my life but I found out that many of my skills were transferable.

“This job has really opened my eyes and given me a revived sense of purpose – whether I’m helping someone with their personal care or simply sharing a cup of tea, it’s so rewarding to know that I’m there when they need me to offer a vital shoulder to lean on.”

Nick Presmeg, Director of Adult Social Care at Essex County Council, said: “To start your career in adult social care, all you need is the right qualities, rather than specific qualifications. With on-the-job training and ongoing support, starting a career in care has never been easier.” 

Ian added: “Working in adult social care is not just an emotionally rewarding role, it’s one of the most in-demand and varied roles too. Working with a range of people with different care needs means that no day is the same. It can also provide great ongoing career progression and job security, which has become particularly important to many people during the pandemic. Make a difference to people’s lives, including your own, and apply today”. 

The number of adult social care jobs is predicted to increase by 36% (580,000 jobs) to around 2.20 million jobs by 2035.  

If you are considering changing careers, like Ian, or want to explore a new career in social care then visit the Every Day is Different website.

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