Julie Morgan, MS, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services
Today marks Carers’ Rights Day - a time to acknowledge and pay tribute to the thousands of unpaid carers across Wales. This year, more than ever before, unpaid carers have helped our health and social care system cope with the unprecedented public health crisis. But I recognise that for many carers, the pandemic has had a major impact on their own well-being.
Promoting awareness of carers’ rights can support carers to continue their own lives alongside their caring role regardless of their age, circumstance or background. I am keen to work with carers and their representatives to ensure they can access the support they deserve – our public consultation for the new national plan for carers is open until 20 January. We intend to use the final plan to set out how we will work with a range of partners to strengthen our existing strategic priorities to better reflect every aspect of a carer’s life.
Caring for someone involves many complex tasks such as managing finances and communicating effectively in a range of situations. These are important skills and unpaid carers often underestimate how valuable they really are when searching for a job, or changing roles. I am pleased that Carers Wales, with support from Welsh Government, is launching the bilingual version of their Learning for Living scheme today. This programme helps carers to promote the value of the skills and knowledge gained through their caring role to current or future employers.
This area of work is a part of Welsh Government’s Prosperity for All commitment to accredit carers’ skills. We are considering how best to support unpaid carers not in employment, or out of the workforce for a long time, to pursue a career in any field.
Earlier this year, I announced the National Young Carers ID card scheme and was pleased to be a part of Ceredigion’s launch of their first ID card. Other local authorities are preparing their own cards for launches, some to coincide with Young Carers Awareness day on 16 March 2021. A nationally recognised card will ensure our young carers are recognised, treated with respect and supported to carry out their caring role.
I remain firmly committed to raising awareness of unpaid carers’ rights and will continue to drive cultural change to ensure better support and recognition for carers in Wales.