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Start a career in care with Derbyshire County Council

Published: 22 December 2020

There’s never been a better time to start a career in care with us as there’s a wide range of jobs on offer at all levels across the county.

Simon Stevens resize
Simon Stevens, Service Director, Adult Social Care

Vacancies include unit manager posts at 2 of our care homes, 12 positions for occupational therapists, 2 service manager posts and more than 50 positions as care workers.

Some of the positions have been introduced to help with the coronavirus pandemic and will allow the council to support even more residents to stay healthy, well and independent.

Our director for adult care Simon Stevens, who started his own career as a care assistant providing support to a young man with a disability, said he couldn’t recommend a career in care more highly.

Now he is second in command of a department managing a £263 million budget and helping us provide care and support for people through the worst pandemic in 100 years.

“It is one of the most fulfilling careers you can do. The feeling you get from knowing you have helped someone to be as independent and in control of their lives as they can be, whether that is to stay independently in their own home, to make independent daily life choices or just to get out and about more in their community, is second to none.

“And there are no limits to how far you can go. Not only is working in social care incredibly rewarding, it can also lead to a long-term career if that’s what you want.”

Currently, we are recruiting for:

  • 3 unit managers – for care homes in New Mills and Ashbourne plus someone who can travel where needed
  • 12 occupational therapists – both full and part time – including in Chesterfield, North East Derbyshire, Bolsover, Amber Valley, South Derbyshire and Matlock
  • 10 qualified social workers – in a range of areas.

In addition, there are vacancies for:

  • care workers in the community - helping people stay independent in their own homes
  • care workers in our residential care homes across Derbyshire
  • senior care workers supporting residents in our care homes across the county, including in South Derbyshire, New Mills, Bolsover, Bakewell and Chesterfield
  • Domiciliary Service Organisers (DSOs) supporting staff working with older and disabled people across the county.

Other job vacancies in social care include a catering assistant and a cleaner in Sandiacre, a cleaner in Long Eaton and a laundry assistant in Heanor.

Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for adult care, Councillor Jean Wharmby, said we need to increase our capacity to get people home from hospital as well as offer support so people can remain in their own homes, avoiding going into hospital.

“There has never been a better time to start a career in care with Derbyshire County Council.

“The coronavirus pandemic has brought many challenges and we’ve been able to expand our workforce to meet the growing demand for support needed by the people of Derbyshire as we go through these difficult times.

“We need the right people to help us do that and I hope anyone looking for a new career, or change of direction, will explore what’s available."

Councillor Wharmby said the jobs could suit someone returning to work after a career break, a young person over 18 looking to get on the career ladder or even a person who has retired from a different career but doesn’t want to give up work quite yet.

Urging anyone looking for work, perhaps following a change of circumstance due to the coronavirus pandemic, to have a look at the range of jobs on offer, Councillor Wharmby said:

“We offer competitive pay rates and excellent terms and conditions which we hope will help us recruit the right people we need to support our local residents.

“We need a wide variety of people, including men who are very under-represented in our workforce.”

Case Study

Simon Stevens, Derbyshire County Council’s director of adult care

When Simon Stevens left school at 16 with a handful of O Levels, little did he know that becoming a volunteer could lead to one of the top jobs at Derbyshire County Council.

As director for adult social care, Simon is helping manage a multi-million-pound budget and is at the forefront of the work supporting Derbyshire through the coronavirus pandemic.

But back in 1985, with little idea of what he wanted to do, it was working as an unpaid volunteer care worker, helping support a young man who’d had an accident, that put him on the road to success.

Simon said:

“When I left school, I knew that I didn’t want to continue with academic study but had no real idea of what I wanted to be from a career perspective.

“I decided to do some voluntary work and obtained a three-month job living in with and supporting a young man who had become physically disabled following an accident on his family farm.

“While this was a real baptism of fire for someone who had never been away from home – and some would argue could barely look after himself let alone support someone else with personal and practical care – this was the place where I both made a friend for life and got an insight into knowing that social care was the career path that I wanted to follow.”

Simon, 53, who has been putting in some very long days during the pandemic, said it was the hardest work he’d ever done.

“That period was the most hard work I had done in my life but also the most satisfying and rewarding and it set me off on my journey."

“Although it was only a 3-month placement, I ended up staying for 6 months and then when the placement ended I came back home and subsequently got a job as a care assistant in a council-run residential care home for children and young adults.

“I moved from there into working in day services for people with a complex learning disability and after some years I was seconded onto a part-time social work training course in 1996.”

Simon worked part time as an unqualified social worker while being trained, and in 1999 managed to get a full-time job as a qualified social worker before doing a post-qualifying award.

Originally from Lichfield, Simon, now living in Burton-on-Trent, he moved quickly up the social care career ladder, first becoming a social work team manager then a locality service manager and finally temporary group manager for Staffordshire County Council. In 2008 he began working for us as an area manager for South Derbyshire and Derbyshire Dales.

That role meant he had responsibility for providing both social work assessment services and direct care services for Derbyshire residents who needed social care support. This included ensuring older and disabled people had the right support to live independently in their own homes as well as supporting residents in our care homes.

We supported him to study for a high-level management qualification and in 2010 he gained a Master’s Degree in business.

Married with 2 grown-up daughters, 1 of them has followed in his footsteps and is working for a housing association supporting vulnerable tenants to find work.