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Desperate shortage of carers.

Byline: By Gayle Tomlinson

More than 30,000 people are needed to help fill care jobs in the North East to prevent a breakdown in local services.

The Training Organisation for Personal Social Services (TOPSS), the body leading on training and education for social care, said the industry needs thousands of workers in the next 10 years to prevent a major crisis.

TOPSS' North East branch said as more people get older the need for staff in social work, care homes, mental health and aiding people with learning difficulties grows.

Bob Little, TOPSS regional development officer, said: "Five years ago they estimated we'd grow by 38% in social care and health care by 53% over a 10 year period.

"Over the next ten years the Government is putting an extra 7% a year into the NHS. We need 3,000 new people a year ( 30,000 jobs in 10 years.

"We have an ongoing need to have more people. There is a shortage and there are lots of jobs. The demand for the work is growing. That is creating a shortage. There is extra jobs all the time."

Margaret Storey, of New Prospects Association, a firm which helps people with learning difficulties cope at home, said people will start to suffer if more people do not join the NHS soon.

She said: "The problem we'll have is we will be able to support fewer and fewer people. It will have an impact on the Government's strategy to make sure people are supported in the community.

"There is a skills shortage but getting people to apply for the jobs and then complete training is an issue for all providers."

Marjorie James, 51, is a social worker for Gateshead Council. She is a perfect example of the type of people TOPSS needs. She retrained to become a social worker after giving up her job as a legal secretary. She said it was hard work bringing up three young children while she studied for her three year part-time course but it has all been worth it.

She advised others to consider a career in care. She said: "I had young children when I went to college and it is not easy. I am glad I have done it because it is a good job."

For details about a care industry career call TOPSS on (01642) 345673.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 27, 2005
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