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Skills for Care partners with employee referral app, Care Friends, which launches today

Skills for Care announces a new partnership with Care Friends, an innovative employee referral app, that will boost the number of quality social care candidates by using recommendations from the sector’s own workforce

Skills for Care, the independent body for workforce development, has pledged its commitment to Care Friends as part of a mutual aim to help grow the adult care sector workforce. The app will help care sector employers in recruiting and retaining staff with the right values at a time when growing the care workforce has never been more crucial.

By allowing care workers to share jobs with their friends and contacts straight from their phone, earning points instantly at each stage of the referral process, the app overcomes the limitations of traditional refer-a-friend schemes. Following a successful EU-funded pilot in Cornwall in 2019 the app has a waiting list of care providers eager to adopt this high-quality recruitment channel.

Skills for Care’s CEO, Oonagh Smyth, said: “With their focus on innovation, their industry expertise and such a unique offering, Care Friends is the perfect partner for us. We’ve supported the development of the app for over 12 months and been impressed with the results and positive feedback from employers.

‘’It’s, quite simply, exactly what the care sector needs.”

Neil Eastwood, founder and CEO of Care Friends, added: “Employee referral is proven to be by far the best source of high performing and long-staying care workers. The problem was traditional referral schemes were hard to keep top-of-mind, unengaging for staff and an admin-hassle. This led to very low referral rates despite the high potential out there. Our bespoke app gamifies this process and means many more care staff become highly effective recruiters for their employer.  

“If current trends continue, the care sector will face a deepening recruitment crisis – and I truly believe our technology can go some way to finding a solution to the shortage of staff in the sector.”

A pilot customer, Jonathan Billington of Bluebird Care in Wiltshire said: “Not only do we love this concept, we love channelling our recruitment budget back to our employees rather than a third party.”

Care Friends launches today and Skills for Care is working in partnership with the company to let providers know about the app. Live product demos can be booked at

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