Get started in social care

Get started in social care - ladies laughing

You don’t need previous experience to get started in social care. What matters most is that you have the values, beliefs and attitudes required for working in care – there’s full training and support for everything else.

There is also a lot of support available if you have been out of work for a while or are looking to move into social care from another sector. See below for more information.

What qualifications do I need?

All health and care workers need a few core skills, for example English and basic number skills. You need to be able to do everyday tasks like communicating, counting medication, making notes and using a computer. You also need skills in team work and problem solving.

There are a range of qualifications, including certificates, diplomas and apprenticeships, offered by the two main colleges in Cornwall – Cornwall College and Truro and Penwith College – that you may wish to consider before looking for your first job. However, this is not essential as all social care employers will provide training when you start work.

There are lots of opportunities to earn while you learn in social care – see our Development page for more information.

Building your confidence

Chaos Group Logo

If you’re currently out of work and looking to start a rewarding career in social care, but you could do with a helping hand to build your confidence and learn new skills, support is available from the Positive People project.

As part of the CHAOS group, the Positive People team offer one-to-one support to help individuals overcome barriers to being included and finding employment. They have a specific Care Pathway enabling people to develop a career in social care and everyone they support has a dedicated coach to help them on their journey.

For more information email or call 01872 277600.

Sector based Work Academies

Access to Work in healthcare

Dynamo Healthcare Training (DHCT) support unemployed people in Cornwall to access employment and training opportunities in healthcare roles.  They run a ‘virtual class’ on teams over 2 weeks , Monday to Friday providing training in relevant care sector skills and infection prevention and control as well as helping you find vacancies and apply for jobs.

There are courses coming up on the following dates:

  • 6th September to 17th September
  • 4th October to 15th October
  • 1st November to 12th November
  • 29th November to 10th December

Further details can be found on their Access to Work in Healthcare flyer.

If you are interested please email: or call 01736 753 933

Introduction into Working in Health and Care

Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust are working together to deliver a 3 day virtual programme which gives an insight into the many different opportunities available in health and care.

Future workshop dates (9:30 – 3pm each day):

  • 27th, 28th & 29th September
  • 18th, 19th & 20th October
  • 15th, 16th & 17th November
  • 13th, 14th & 15th December

Further details can be found on their Introduction into Working in Health and Care leaflet.

If you are interested please email: or call 07909997107

School leavers pre-apprenticeship support

Apprenticeships can be for new or existing employees of any age, and are a great way to enter a career in social care. They allow you to learn on the job from experienced workers while being paid. The Cornwall Apprenticeship site provides information on finding apprenticeships in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly and lists the current vacancies.

Some people may require additional support to access apprenticeships and Dynamo Healthcare Training Academy (Dynamo) has been set up to support young people in Cornwall to commence careers in social care through Apprenticeships.

They offer a bridging programme for school leavers who do not want to go to College for different reasons but are not yet ready for employment or an apprenticeship. They offer a 9 month preparation to work/apprenticeship support programme as an alternative to College for school leavers. Further details are on the Dynamo website.

Get into Health and Care Cornwall

Get into Health & Care Cornwall is a locally based initiative about opening more doors to employment and training in the NHS, attracting people with the right values and ability to do an excellent job and gaining the benefits of a diverse workforce. The Get into Health and Care Cornwall Facebook page provides a range of information and their new website will be available soon.

Useful links to get started in social care