From education to employment

Fife College launches initiative to get more men into care roles

Fife College has launched an initiative to help encourage more men to take up roles within the care profession and address the historic gender imbalance within the sector.

Yesterday (Thursday) evening representatives from Fife Health and Social Care Partnership and representatives from organisations and charities from across the sector met to discuss how barriers for men who want to work in care can be addressed by employers and by training providers.

The meeting took place at Fife College’s Kirkcaldy campus, with the discussion analysing how roles in health, social care and early years can be promoted more effectively to men and also to understand the challenges faced by men who wish to work in caring professions.

Currently the Royal College of Nursing estimates that a little under 11% of nurses are men, while Skills for Care state that only 18% of staff in the social care sector are male.

The situation is even worse in early years roles, with the UK Government estimating that only 3% of practitioners are men.

With the Scottish Funding Council having set a target for all college courses to have at least a 75:25 gender split by 2030, the Faculty of Care, Social Science and Education at Fife College has chosen to set up a working group to look into the issue.

Kay Wheat, Director of the Faculty of Care, Social Science and Education at Fife College, said:

“The gender imbalance within the care industry is well known, with very few men occupying nursing, social care or early years roles.

“At Fife College we want to do all we can to address this disparity, which is why we’ve set-up this working group to look into the issue.

“We’re looking for volunteers to come forward and discuss what we can do to help encourage more men to work within these key sectors, and what we can do to promote these roles more effectively.

“And last night we started a discussion with colleagues from across each sector about how employers and training providers such as ourselves can remove any barriers men might currently face when wanting to work in these areas.

“We’ve got ambitious targets for addressing gender imbalance, but we’ll only meet these if we start taking action now.”

Roy Lawrence, Principal Lead for Organisational Development & Culture at Fife Health and Social Care Partnership said:

“We’re delighted to be a part of this initiative, and to work with Fife College and other stakeholders to examine what measures we can take to attract more men into care roles.

“Historically men may not have seen social care as a positive career choice and together we can begin to address any misconceptions around this.

“My thanks go to Fife College for hosting this meeting and bringing representatives from the sector together to have a system-wide dialogue around possible solutions.

“The conversations we had were incredibly informative, and I’m excited to see what proposals we can devise together to generate positive actions to support men into a career in social care.”

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