Jill Manthorpe, 48.
Job advertised in The THES , February 7 2003
Director of the Social Care Workforce Research Unit
School of Social Science and Public Policy
King's College London
King's College London was looking for someone with a strong research record who knew the social care scene and could build bridges with funders, agencies and users.
Jill Manthorpe joined Peter Huxley, professor of social work at the Institute of Psychiatry, to work part time as co-director of the unit.
She came from Hull University, where she had risen through the ranks from part-time lecturer (when she had a young family) to reader in community care. She held a variety of posts in the National Health Service as well as taking special interest in student welfare.
Because the unit receives Department of Health funding, it is very close to policy-making and new ideas about health and social care.
"The International Policy Institute is the unit's creative home," says Manthorpe, "so we work with people interested in gerontology, management and education. The unit comprises just seven people, but we are expecting to grow - as much by linking with other researchers and agencies as by taking on new staff, although we did take on a demographer last week. We're all busy juggling roles - applying for grants, putting out publicity, working with other agencies."
With more than 1 million employees and 66,000 employers, social care is one of the UK's biggest workforces, Manthorpe says.
"But it is complex. Workers are mainly part time, and there are problems about recruiting and retaining them," she says. The unit aims to provide intelligence for employers, government, regulators and agencies, from the users' and the workforce's point of view.
"We are making use of user's expertise."