Health and Social Care

What's it all about?

Healthcare covers more than caring for people who are ill. It also involves creating new and better treatments as well as educating people about healthy lifestyles.

Work in healthcare includes careers in medical treatment, such as doctors, nurses and healthcare science posts, as well as jobs in allied health professions like dentistry and other support roles.

Social care includes careers working with children, young people, adults, families and older adults. 


You could be working with children, young people or adults, people with disabilities, the sick or injured or people with problems.

This all happens in a variety of places – hospitals, surgeries, clinics, health centres, dentists, opticians and pharmacies, even people’s homes.

You could become a doctor or nurse or one of the many other professionals like consultants, radiographers, ambulance technicians or paramedics. You might go for a support job like a manager, porter, clerical or domestic worker and become one of the staff who handle the administration, keep the buildings clean and in good repair, provide the catering or look after essential supplies. You might prefer to be a scientist, therapist or technician – the healthcare professions offer all of these and more. In fact there are over 70 different careers in the NHS!

There are opportunities at all levels. Some roles require professional qualifications, others need vocational (work-related) qualifications and some need specialist skills. Many, like healthcare assistants, porters, clerical staff and cleaners, place more importance on teamwork skills, a willingness to learn, and a keen interest in healthcare, than paper qualifications

Social Care

A career in social care may involve working with

  • children and young people, adults of working age or older adults
  • people who have broken the law
  • people who have physical or learning disabilities
  • people with mental health problems.

Many people need help in their lives, sometimes for a short while – or over months or years. If you worked in social care it would be your job to help these people – working as a care assistant, support worker or qualified social worker (with degree level qualifications). These are not your average 9 to 5 jobs – they involve dedication and helping others.

The help you could provide might be around adoption and fostering or parenting skills, or helping children who are socially disadvantaged. This could involve those who are vulnerable to abuse or exploitation, have mental health problems or who have physical or learning difficulties. You could be working with children, young people or adults, people with disabilities, the sick or injured or people with problems.

Compare jobs you like and see if they are predicted to grow

To find out what you will earn in different jobs (you can put in up to three) and see other facts including whether this job is predicted to grow in the UK, use the Careerometer which is on the left of each Job Sector page (yellow box).

Is this a predicted growth area in the South of England?

The Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have been asked to predict which job sectors will grow. This information could help you develop your skills and gain qualifications for specific job roles, sectors or particular places where there are likely to be opportunities. No growth doesn't mean there are no jobs but growth does mean there are likely to be more jobs!

Oxford and Thames Valley -  Oxford identifies Life Sciences as a priority area.

Solent - There are no specific predictions or priorities from the local LEPs regarding this sector.

South West - Most of the Local Enterprise Partnerships identify Health and Social Care as a priority sector, as the South West is a very popular area to retire to and therefore has a higher percentage of elderly people than other areas of England.

Find out more about growth industries in the South of England.

Find out detailed information about employment in the West of England 2015 for HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES.

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