UK care agency tackles worker shortage with higher wages

Nick's ESL News Lessons

A printable worksheet for news-based English conversation classes.

Date: 2023/03/06

Difficulty: Intermediate B1

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Vocabulary Match

retain -   - legal obligations
extraordinary -   - dedication
commitment -   - exceptional
statutory duties -   - keep
fulfill -   - meet

Article

A care agency in Staffordshire is addressing issues in the care industry. There are not enough workers for the increasing number of people who need at-home care. Those in the industry are often paid minimum wage, making it difficult to find and retain new carers.

Visiting Angels East Staffordshire has raised care client fees to pay their 21 staff an hourly rate at least £2-£3 above the minimum wage. This model works better as they can retain their staff instead of recruiting new ones.

23-year-old carer Erin Woodhouse says, "I think we get paid pretty well to be honest. I think it does show what we're worth."

The government recognises carers' extraordinary commitment and has provided up to £7.5bn for social care over the next two years.

The adult social care sector needs £13bn to address its many pressures and fulfill all of its statutory duties.

Quiz

  1. Why is it difficult to find and retain new carers in the care industry?
  2. How much has the government provided for social care over the next two years?

Conversation

A: I can't believe we're still getting paid minimum wage, it's just not enough to make ends meet.
B: I know, it's frustrating. I've been thinking about looking for another job.
A: Have you heard about Visiting Angels? I heard they pay their staff above minimum wage.
B: Really? Huh. It's definitely worth checking out. Let's see if they're hiring.

Discussion

  1. Do you think it's important for the government to provide funding for social care?
  2. Have you ever volunteered or worked in a nursing home or with senior citizens?
  3. What are some fun activities that you can do with elderly family members or friends?
  4. What's something you hope to achieve or experience after retirement?

Vocabulary Answers

retain → keep
extraordinary → exceptional
commitment → dedication
statutory duties → legal obligations
fulfill → meet

Quiz Answers (examples)

  1. Because they are often paid minimum wage
  2. It has provided up to £7.5bn for social care over the next two years.

Source Material

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-64791074


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