After working on a seasonal contract, Fiona learned about a career in adult social care through the Kickstart Scheme. This scheme offers financial support to generate employment opportunities for individuals aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and facing the prospect of long-term unemployment.

“I have worked in adult social care for just over a year and have really valued the experience and training I have been given in such a short space of time. I joined through the Kickstart Scheme and after completing my six-month probation period, I was able to begin various training opportunities, including medicine, epilepsy and more recently PEG training which aids customers to receive nutrition directly through their stomach.

“Previously I worked in a role that followed a seasonal contract, which resulted in being required to go onto Universal Credits when the season finished. This is how I learnt about the Kickstart Scheme with Capability Scotland. This scheme has given me an opportunity to get a job in something that I previously held no qualifications in.

“As I get further into my career, I will aim to do my SVQ Level 3 in Care which will also be facilitated through Capability Scotland. I am looking forward to this as it will further add to the skillset and knowledge I am currently developing.

“It is difficult to pick one element of working in adult social care that I enjoy, as I love everything about my job. I really enjoy being around all the customers, and knowing I can help them with any issues that may arise. I would consider myself to be a people person, so I have been able to take the job well into my stride and enjoy the social aspect.

“As someone who is relatively new to the career, I would recommend people look into doing the PEG training because it is very informative and gives an insight into how the human body works, learning how to tackle any issues that could happen. I would also recommend people look at the online core training that is available to gain a foundation of knowledge.

“I think the perfect candidate for a role in adult social care would be someone that is friendly, fun, outgoing and enjoys planning and doing activities. A large part of the role is providing support to customers in whatever they want to do, so being enthusiastic about activities is key. Not to mention, I think that the perfect candidate should also be resilient, as there can be a lot of challenges that come with the role, however, have an extremely rewarding return.

“One stigma associated with adult social care that I do not necessarily agree with is that all our customers require 24/7 help and assistance. A lot of our customers can do things themselves, and we strive to empower them to do so by giving them as much independence as possible because this is great for their mental health.

“I don’t think there is enough exposure around jobs within the care and charity sector and people have pre-conceived conceptions that results in them not exploring a career down this path. I understand that the job can be challenging, but it is extremely rewarding which I value.

“I wish I had been told about organisations like Capability Scotland, because if I had not found out about this, I would have been still working seasonal contracts rather than supporting in making a difference to people’s lives”.

Fiona’s advice to people looking to apply for an adult social care position:

“Keep going with it and stick at it because it is worth it in the end. The changes that we see in our customers is very fulfilling and having the ability to make our customers happy makes our day. I sometimes think that with this role, if you are personally having a down day, that coming to work and putting a smile on your patient’s face can totally improve your happiness”.