Charity urges government to back new strategy on care jobs

Hands touching The government is about to publish plans on the future of care for older and disabled people

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A charity representing carers has called for a new strategy to kick-start more jobs in the care industry.

Carers UK says many families are being pushed to breaking point because they are unable to get local authority help.

It says as well as investing in social care, ministers should encourage private care firms to offer more jobs to form a "new care economy".

Its survey of 4,000 carers found 31% had given up work or cut hours in order to care for their relatives.

'Crisis'

The charity said ifa growth was achieved in the care market , it would benefit families, employers and the economy in a "triple win".

Chief executive Helena Herklots said: "Instead of seeing growing care needs as a demographic problem we need to reshape our economy, workplaces and services to fit the needs of modern families.

"The current crisis in care means that [the] government cannot escape the need to invest in chronically underfunded social care services.

"But whether you are an individual buying your own care or a local council commissioning social care services - it is in all our interests to cultivate a vibrant care market."

The charity said a growing number of family members have been forced to give up work to care for ill or disabled loved ones because they were "unable to get the reliable or affordable support to juggle work and care".

That costs the public purse £1.3bn a year in carers' benefits and lost taxes, according to a recent study by the London School of Economics.

Carers UK argues that a "new care economy" would help meet the needs of an ageing population and deliver substantial economic gains.

The government is about to publish plans on the future of care for older and disabled people, but has not yet commented on the charity's suggestions.

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