The ins and outs of working as a carer in the UK
Working as a carer in the UK is a rewarding career that pays well and can fit around your lifestyle. With Helping Hands, we provide all the training you need to be an amazing live-in carer.
Every one of our carers receives our award-winning training plus continuing support throughout your career with us. Some of our best carers have never professionally cared for anyone before they came to Helping Hands. We are here to support you and you are there to compassionately support your customer – together we make a great team.
Deciding to work in another country is a big decision. Many of our foreign and expat carers tell us it’s a decision they didn’t take lightly. But working in care, especially within the UK, can be an extremely rewarding experience. Read Alison’s story about how she splits her time between the UK and Spain.
Free award-winning training before you start
We provide all the training you need to begin your new and exciting career as a live-in carer. The Helping Hands live-in carer training course provides the highest quality of practical training for new carers. It’s industry renowned.
There are three Helping Hands training centres around the world where new live-in carers can be trained for jobs in the UK. Our main centre is in Alcester, Warwickshire, very close to historic Stratford-upon-Avon where Shakespeare was born. We also have a training centre near Alicante in Spain, plus two other centres in Greece.
Our training course for live-in carers last five days and you can complete the full five days at our centres in the UK and Spain. For Greece, you can complete three days of training in Athens or Thessaloniki and the final two days in the UK.
Here’s how the training works:
- Our award-winning training is provided completely free of charge.
- Travel expenses – you will need to pay for your travel (including flights) to and from the training centre. For the UK, we can arrange a pick-up from the train or coach station.
- Accommodation – we have quaint cottages in the UK for you to stay in for just £40 for five nights; for training in Spain we can help source overnight accommodation for around 15 Euros per night.
Local recruitment contacts are available in Spain, Greece and Africa to speak to you about joining Helping Hands. Find out more about applying for UK carer jobs or call our UK recruitment team on 08437816372.
Starting your first placement as a carer in the UK
It’s an exciting day when you begin your first placement as a Helping Hands carer. Before you start work, we’ll advise on the best route to get to the customer’s home from where you’re staying.
When you arrive you’ll have a handover with the existing carer. It’s a very useful time to really get to know your customer and the house – and even find out practical advice from the other carer’s experience.
The existing carer and the family will be able to tell you about the local area, such as where the local tourist centre is, and the library or leisure centre. So if you’re into sightseeing, reading or swimming, you’ll know exactly where to go when you have free time.
Within 24 hours of starting your placement you’ll hear from your local care service manager who will call or visit to help you settle into your role. But anytime – day or night – there is support available on our Carer Helpline, in case of an emergency.
Flexibility of working as a live-in carer in the UK
Working as a live-in carer – with your accommodation and food paid for while you’re on placement – means you don’t have to worry so much about the cost of living.
It is possible for you request placements in certain parts of the country, maybe where you have family or friends close by or if there’s a particular region you’d like to visit.
One of the many great things about working as a live-in carer is that you can use your time between placements to travel or visit family and friends, whether that’s in the UK or back in your home country.
Alison, who normally lives in Spain, was looking for carer jobs in the UK. She says, “I chose Helping Hands because they are a nationwide company, meaning I could possibly work near Nottingham where my family are. They also sorted out your paperwork. It wasn’t necessary to be self-employed. Live-in care gave me the opportunity to spend time in both countries.
Mixing time between Spain and the UKAlison’s story
Essential things for working in the UK as a carer
To join Helping Hands as a carer, you will need:
- A compassionate nature and good communication skills
- The passion to really make a difference to someone’s life
- The right to work in the UK
- Excellent level of English, both spoken and written
- Pass the enhanced Basic Disclosure checks by the Criminal Records Bureau
UK bank account
A UK bank account is essential so we can pay you. If you don’t have one already, we’ll provide you with a letter during your training week so you can easily set one up at any high-street bank or building society.
When you visit the bank, remember to take two forms of ID with you, such as your passport or European ID card.
National Insurance number
You’ll need a UK National Insurance number, which you can apply for after setting up your bank account. Just make an appointment to see your local benefits office or JobCentre Plus and they will make the arrangements.
In the meantime, we’ll put you on a temporary National Insurance number. But it’s important to have your permanent number set-up within 1-2 months of arriving in the UK.