Attracting Men Into The Caring Professions

Many caring professions which have historically attracted primarily female staff are facing staff shortages. Making these professions more attractive to men could help alleviate these shortages as well as providing patients and clients with more choice in the care they receive. This event will draw upon the latest research and practice to highlight how organisations can attract male workers.

A diverse caring workforce for Scotland

In Scotland in 2016 the NHS was reportedly spending £64,000 a day on agency nurses, with only one third of NHS staff feeling staffing levels were sufficient for them to do their job properly.

A recent Care Inspectorate report ‘Staff Vacancies in Care Services 2016’ revealed that more than a third of social care services across Scotland have unfilled staff vacancies in the past year and 41% of services with vacancies reported having problems filling them.

Men could provide an untapped resource for new staff as the introduction of new technologies reduces job opportunities in many male-dominated jobs. 

Increasing the number of men in care will also challenge stereotypes of carers in popular culture and provide more choice for those in receipt of care. There will be men who are currently cared for by women, not because they wish to be, but because there is no alternative.

Key issues we’ll examine with you

  • The experience of men currently working in caring professions and their routes into employment
  • Attitudes towards men working in care
  • Awareness of the caring professions as an option for men
  • The barriers for men entering caring professions

Who will benefit from attending?

This event will be of interest to all those recruiting in the health and care sectors including senior managers, HR staff, training and development workers, recruitment specialists, health and social care agencies, NHS bodies, local authorities, third sector organisations, housing associations, colleges, universities and more.


09:15 Registration and refreshments

10:00 Opening remarks from the chair

Morag Alexander OBE, Chair, ELCAP; Co-Chair, Scottish Commission on Older Women; Former Convener, SSSC; Former Commissioner, Equality and Human Rights Commission; Former Director, Equal Opportunities Commission

Session 1: Scoping the challenge

10:05 Balancing the Social Care Workforce

  • What does the SSSC’s workforce data tell us about the gender of social service workers?
  • What are the challenges preventing greater gender diversity?
  • What is the SSSC doing to better understand and address the need for greater gender diversity?
  • Hear from a careers ambassador about his experience of starting a career in early learning and childcare

Laura Lamb, Head of Learning and Development, SSSC

Robert Solley, Early Learning and Childcare Practitioner, Georgetown Primary School Nursery

10:25 Men in Healthcare: Evidence and Policy

  • Recruitment into nursing
  • Current policy
  • Workforce statistics

Jane Cantrell, Programme Director, NHS Education for Scotland

10:45 Questions and discussion

10:55 Panel discussion: the experience of men currently working in caring professions

Panelists include:

  • Craig Davidson, Student Nurse, Glasgow Caledonian University and Scottish Representative, RCN Student's Committee
  • Derek Thomson, Nursery Officer
  • David Thomson, Senior Social Worker, Women's Justice Team, Fife Council and Council Member, British Association of Social Workers (BASW)

11:25 Refreshments

Session 2: Overcoming the barriers

11:40 Challenges for Men Entering Health and Social Care Professions: Using social work as an example

  • Men experience different challenges than women when coming into a ‘caring’ profession
  • If we seek to have a more diverse workforce, changes are needed to encourage more men to apply to, and improve their retention on, related courses. 

Dr Jason Schaub, Lecturer in Social Work, University of Birmingham

12:00 Pre-registration Nursing Recruitment and Retention – Underrepresentation of Men, Influences and Causes

Report the:

  • Recruitment and retention rates of males to pre-registration nursing programmes in Scotland over the last 5 years.
  • The views of male pre-registration students, academic staff, and school guidance teachers on barriers to and influencers of males entering nurse training programmes

Dr James Taylor, Senior Lecturer: Academic & Professional Lead for Mental Health, University of the West of Scotland

Maggie Carson, Lecturer in Nursing and Undergraduate Programme Director for the Bachelor of Nursing, The University of Edinburgh

12:20 Questions and discussion

12:35 Lunch

Session 3: Practice from across Scotland

13:20 Working In Schools: Attracting Male Pupils into Care in Dundee and Angus

  • Background to development of the project
  • Rationale and scope of the project
  • Plans for implementation

Angela Vettraino, Manager, Developing the Young Workforce Dundee and Angus

Ailsa Cormie, Employer Liaison Advisor: Administration, Business Services, Care, Health and Hospitality, Developing the Young Workforce Dundee and Angus

13:40 Men in childcare

Kenny Spence, Project Manager, Men in Childcare

14:00 Questions and discussion

14:20 Closing remarks from the chair

14:25 Close of event

*Agenda subject to change



Scottish Arbitration Centre, 125 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 4AD | Map


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Discounted rate: £145 (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 | 2+ places £195 per place (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, housing associations, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 | 2+ places £245 per place (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email or phone 0131 285 1635

25 September 2018



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