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Spotlight on key workers

Key workers in the spotlight

Employment News

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Some job roles have now become so important

It goes without saying that now, more than ever, our NHS workers are very much the heroes of the current situation. But there are other less visible roles which are also playing a key part in keeping us all going in the current climate due to coronavirus.

Delivery drivers, carers, supermarket staff (to name only a few) are now in massive demand, and without them we would all be grinding to a halt! Some of these roles are now also being taken up as a lifeline by those currently out of work, such as hospitality workers.

To an extent, these are roles that society previously took for granted. Whilst they could technically be described as “low-skilled”, they require a strong work ethic, the ability to keep calm under pressure, and good judgement in dealing with delicate situations. How would you deal with an angry customer who wants to buy 3 packs of toilet rolls when they’re only allowed one (for the third time that day)?

Essential goods supply chains in the spotlight

Supermarkets such as Iceland are currently doing well to get the right messaging out there and being sensitive with their language. Being conscious of employer brand is now more important than ever – staff working in such environments will want to feel secure and valued. There are some companies who have received terrible press on the back of the way they’ve dealt with their staff in response to coronavirus, who are at risk of a flood of notices being handed in once the storm has been weathered.

Since the current lockdown began, delivery drivers and couriers have become vital. Online shopping for essential items is now a key service for many people. It’s encouraging to see courier companies working ethically, implementing non-contact delivery methods, whilst still operating at such a demanding time.

Care work extends beyond the NHS

Care workers are also highly important at the moment. They are at the forefront of looking after those who have been identified as “at risk”, and with care homes having to limit visitors, they are under great pressure to restore calm.

It will be interesting to see how these roles are viewed in the future. The current situation is being compared to the dramatic changes brought about during WW2 – back then it was previously unheard of for women to take on roles such as mechanics (even the Queen was a mechanic during WW2!), but the need for these jobs to be done led to more and more women in the workplace, picking up new skills and challenging stereotypes. I imagine once this is all over, the unsung heroes of our key industries will be held in much warranted, higher regard.

On a lighter note, I would also like to add “meme makers” to the key worker list! Now more than ever, we all need some light relief – they have been busier than ever and never fail to deliver within minutes from a news announcement! Keep them coming!

 

Laura Wilson-Jones