Community and Welfare
|Example job roles|
|Sources of vacancies|
AGCAS, the professional body for higher education careers advisory services, has produced an Industry Insight for Social Care which provides an overview of what it is like to work in this area.
|Community Development Worker|
|Health Promotion Specialist|
|Race Relations Officer|
Are internships an option for this career area?
What are the other types of work experience to consider and how do I find them?
- Victim Support - this charitable organisation seeks volunteers to work with victims of crime (www.victimsupport.org.uk > Get Involved or contact the Durham branch at email@example.com).
- The Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) www.citizensadvice.org.uk recruits for volunteers on a regular basis. Contact your local CAB for details of possible opportunities. Structured in-house training is provided to long term volunteers.
- Durham colleges chaplains may have opportunities to volunteer for those interested in the aims and values of each college chaplain. Contact details at www.dur.ac.uk/undergraduate>living>faith>chaplains.
For volunteering opportunities across the U.K it would be useful to also check with your local Community Services Voluntary (CSV) organisation; a comprehensive website for sourcing volunteering opportunities is www.do-it.org.uk.
Paid Work Experience
It is often possible to source sessional paid work with local youth and community services in an unqualified role for those with previous volunteer experience.
The NHS occasionally recruit for part and full time health trainer staff in community based settings to provide advice on health related issues such as tackling obesity/smoking cessation and safe alcohol consumption. A level 3 city and guilds health trainer qualification is a pre-requisite or recognised qualifications in personal training/nutrition and weight management /substance misuse.
Local arts councils on very rare occasions provide sessional paid opportunities to help with organising community arts based events. It is best to contact on a speculative basis. Durham Arts Council website listing contacts is www.durhamarts.org.
If you have some experience already in a community and/or welfare related role a useful website to source vacancies is www.ecarers.com.
Due to the diversity of roles within community and welfare work it is difficult to recommend job sites that are fit for all career pathways.The majority of employers are within the public sector along with limited options within the private sector. Examples include:
Public sector: Local authorities (including youth service, NHS); youth offending teams; voluntary educational bodies; arts organisations (including Arts Councils); Connexions; job centres; social services;voluntary sector organisations; Citizens Advice Bureaux); independent advice centres (including charities) - including mental health/debt/housing;law and refugee centres /councils
Private Sector: Housing services; debt advice centres; private prisons; bail hostels
Some of the better websites for finding vacancies in this career area are:
Jobs Go Public (www.jobsgopublic.com)
- vacancies in all areas community, welfare and youth work
- Advanced search by sector and occupational group , temporary/permanent
Free registration for job e-alerts
NHS Jobs (www.jobs.nhs.uk)
- Listing of health trainer (including trainee) jobs in the community
- Search by region in U.K
Jobs by email /RSS
Good Moves (www.goodmoves.org.uk)
- Jobs by sector including community development/region/ role and salary
- Includes graduate appointments
Jobs by email
Jobs in Advice (www.jobsinadvice.org.uk)
- Search by area of advice /organisation/job type/location U.K /salary
- Useful information on recognised advice related training /qualifications, including NVQ
Jobs by email
Guardian Jobs (http://jobs.guardian.co.uk)
- Vacancies in all areas of community and welfare include faith related jobs
- Search by job type and location
- Jobs by email
Is postgraduate study essential?
For those seeking to enter a strategic/policy related role in the areas of community education/development/race relations a relevant postgraduate qualification is increasingly desirable. It is important to be aware that entry to a job at this level requires several years related work experience.
Within the broad field of advice work, it is more common for study to take place via in-house training usually in the form of NVQ work based qualifications at level 3 and 4. Some organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureaux run their own accredited courses for both volunteer and paid employees (www.citizensadvice.org.uk).
How do I decide on choosing a course?
Factors to consider:
- Depending on the area you are interested in, is the course accredited or recognised by a relevant professional body.
- Does the course require applicants to already be working in a specific career area.
- Check how well established lecturers /researchers are in their field.
- Check with individual employers on the value they place on the course. Do they have a preference for a specific course? For details of specific employers in this area check the prospects job profile in The Work section of this folder
- Courses may require relevant work experience. Check with the admissions department. What is the employability rating for the department? Does the department provide recent employer destination data for graduates of the course? Contact admission staff of individual institution departments to find out.
- Does the course have strong links with employers and/or provide the opportunity for a work experience placement
Funding - the majority of entrants are seconded by an employer. Bursaries and awards may be available (Arts Council or internal). If PhD level study check with admission staff for deadlines for research council funding, if applicable.
Useful websites for Postgraduate Study
In house accredited advice related courses (including the new legal advice NVQ):
- www.adviceuk.org.uk >supporting you > training