A recruitment fair was held in Bury St Edmunds last week to try and address an increasing shortage of care workers in the area - but few came.
Not-for-profit organisation Care Careers Suffolk hosted the event to help local care businesses reach people who may not have considered a career in care previously and to raise the profile of adult social care as an ‘interesting and rewarding area of work’.
But attendance was low.
Louise Whitley, of Care Careers Suffolk, said: “It was very disappointing but it was expected because Bury’s certainly the hardest area in Suffolk to recruit to the care sector.”
The town’s aging population, low unemployment rate, rural nature and poor public transport links are all thought to be contributing to the problem which is worse now than Mrs Whitley has ever seen it.
She said: “We have a growing older population, one of the worst in the country, and we need more and more people in the care sector - we just can’t keep up with demand.
“It’s a constant battle and demographics are against us.”
I Care…Ambassador Lorraine Clarke, of Clarke Care in Northgate Street, was among employers at the fair.
She thought the low attendance was ‘a real shame’ but was pleased to see some schools.
She said: “What was really nice was to see a couple of schools and sixth form colleges turning up and students coming and asking us about care.
“I really think we should be getting into the schools more than we do to talk about what care really is, because it’s not just a job, it’s a vocation.”