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Health and Social Care

Would you like to work in a role where you have the capacity to change lives for the better? In the Health and Social Care sector, you can work in a fast-paced environment where no two days are the same. With over 80 different possible job roles within the sector*, there’s a lot of choice for exactly how you can impact lives, too. 

With lots of progression opportunities and high demand for new people, Health and Social care can help you achieve your employment goals. 


Here are some of the typical job opportunities within Health & Social Care, and how you can make your first steps within the sector.

There are a wide range of opportunities within the nursing profession, whether you would 
like to care for children and young people, adults or specialise in a particular area, such as 
emergency response or minor injuries. Opportunities include:

• Senior Staff Nurse 
• Ward Sister/Charge Nurse 
• Advanced Nurse Practitioner 
• Lead Nurse 
• Matron 

Counsellors provide a safe and confidential environment for clients to talk. You will actively 
listen to clients, helping them to explore their behaviour patterns and make their own 
choices. Sessions with clients can cover a range of issues, including:

• Divorce or relationship difficulties 
• Illness 
• Bereavement 
• Unemployment or job uncertainty 
• General anxiety

Promotion is likely to be into team leader or management roles. These usually involve less 
time spent with individual clients and more on supervising a staff team and working on 
overall strategy. 

Social workers support individuals and their families through difficult times and ensure that 
vulnerable people are safeguarded from harm, improving their lives. This often means using 
professional judgment and procedures set by government to make tough decisions. 

Specialist roles include: 
• Homelessness Officer 
• Day-care Social Worker 
• Education Welfare Officer 
• Healthcare and Mental Health Social Worker 

Social work is a profession where promotion is likely to take you away from hands-on work. 
Three to five years after qualifying, it's possible to become a senior practitioner or team 

Other career paths in this sector include: 
• Midwifery 
• Healthcare Assistant (Hospice) 
• Home Carer 
• Physiotherapist

Qualifications and Training

There are a wide range of health and social care qualifications available to the residents of Greater Manchester. Read on to learn more about what options are open to you.

An apprenticeship allows you to “learn while you earn” and can work best for people wanting to try a new career or who feel they are practical learners. A common misconception about apprenticeships is that they are mainly for school leavers- apprenticeships are for people of all ages and are a great way to restart your career, change your career, or progress in your current career.

There are a wide range of adult courses available across Greater Manchester. These courses have a range of levels, meaning you can boost your skill set, or go for a full qualification in an area that interests you. Courses include:

  • Preparing to work in schools.
  • Safeguarding in a learning environment.
  • Principles of working with individuals with learning difficulties.
  • Understanding behaviour that challenges.
  • Early years practitioner.
  • Supporting teaching and learning in schools.

If you would like to study for a university-level degree but don’t have the traditional qualifications, Access to Higher Education courses could help you to achieve your goal. There are a variety of resources available to you to help you achieve. The most popular qualifications include:

  • Access to Higher Education in Teaching Professions
  • Access to Higher Education in Primary Teaching

Considering university, or a degree-level course? Higher education is the route you’d be going down- whether you’d be looking to study full-time, or if a more flexible approach would work for you, there are plenty of options available. If you’re looking to increase your skill set, there are a wide variety of options open to you- to learn more about how you can achieve in Greater Manchester. Courses include:

  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Primary Education
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary Education
  • BA (Hons) Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and Linguistics
  • BA (Hons) Early Years and Childhood Studies.
  • BA (Hons) Education.
  • PgCert National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination.

Greater Manchester Access is a single point of contact, combining information on job vacancies, learning opportunities and career development support for individuals within Greater Manchester in the field of Health and Social Care.

Click here to learn more.

Progressing in your career

Whether you are looking to develop in your current role, or looking to take the next steps in your career there is a variety of training and pathways you can consider.

They’re specific to the industry and teach you the practical skills and knowledge you need for the role you want.

You could also do an apprenticeship to help you progress; they’re available for new and existing staff of any age.

There are a wide range of adult courses available across Greater Manchester. Many of these 
courses are fully funded, which means there is no cost to you, or your employer if you are 
currently employed. These courses have a range of levels, meaning you can boost your skill set, 
or go for a full qualification in an area that interests you.

There are a variety of pathways available if you are looking to progress within the health and social care sector. 

Getting started

  • Training

Enhancing your skills

  • Social Worker
  • Consultant Social Worker

Managing others

  • Practice Manager
  • Service Manager

Core functions

Want to work in Health and Social Care but the traditional avenues aren’t for you? There are also a wide range of roles that utilise different skill sets to support teaching staff and make a positive difference.

There are many exciting options in the accounting profession as you can work in a variety of industries. Accounting pays well, offers prospects for advancement, and allows you to assist organisations thrive into the next decade and beyond. 

Business administration is a fast-paced job with opportunities to advance and work in a range of sectors and businesses. It’s also a professional route that may lead to lots of options if you decide to move into another business sector later in life.

HR professionals’ day-to-day responsibilities are to ensure employee wellbeing and happiness. A well-trained and organised HR department is at the heart of any educational establishment and is essential for maintaining a motivated and productive workforce.

As technology advances, so too do the possibilities for more effective marketing. There’s a variety of professional options to select from, whether you want to get into management, analytics, product design, or brand management to name but a few.

As an IT professional, you will develop the skills to support internal and external customers, helping them to be productive by problem-solving and troubleshooting non-routine issues.

How do I get started?

Wondering how best to progress within the Health and Social Care sector? In this section, we’ll make it clear how you can move forward within the sector, whether you’re already experienced, or someone making their first steps into a new career. 

What skills do I need?

In order to gain your first role in the Health and Social Care sector, employers often look for the 
following qualifications: 

• Level 1 Award in Preparing to Work in the Care Sector 
• Level 2 or 3 Certificate in Preparing to Work in the Care Sector

Often you will need core qualifications in English and Maths to start these courses.

What initial roles could I do?

There are lots of entry-level care roles you could apply for, such as Care Worker, or
Personal Assistant. There are also support roles such as Office and Administration, Cook or Kitchen Assistant, Driver or Transport Manager or Housekeeping. 

Next steps

For more information about gaining these qualifications and get your career started in the sector, visit the National Careers Service website at: or call 0800 100 900