Jobseekers were in the spotlight on Friday 5th of February as Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey joined them on their journey to retrain into the care sector.
The 13 local residents successfully started their care careers last month thanks to a Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP) – a three-week training course offered by the Department for Work and Pensions, Leicestershire County Council’s Inspired to Care Programme and training provider CT Skills. The scheme will help them gain valuable work experience, retrain and grow their network of contacts.
As they reached the halfway point of the Inspired to Care SWAP, run in partnership with CT Skills, Dr Coffey heard why they chose this route and how they were finding their experience so far.
Craig Seal, who previously worked as a Warehouse Operative said:
“After losing my job of 10 years before Christmas, I was offered the chance on the course. I feel this is a good opportunity to learn new skills and have a career in a job that is to help others fulfil a happy life.
“The team have been great, always been there to support me. I would recommend anyone who is a caring person to think about doing this course.”
All participants will also be offered an interview with a social care employer for a live vacancy at the end of the programme.
The visit came as the DWP announced a further boost to the help available across the UK by increasing the number of retraining places on SWAPs to 80,000 for the next financial year – building on the 40,000 already successfully delivered over the last eight months.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey said:
“It’s great to join jobseekers in Leicestershire and hear how our SWAPs are helping them move into the care sector – which continues to play a vital role as we battle the virus.
“This remains a challenging time for jobseekers across the county, but there is hope as we boost the number of SWAPs to 80,000 as part of our Plan for Jobs – giving people an opportunity to develop their skills and get their foot in the door with a guaranteed job interview.”
Debbie Harris, Chief Operating Officer at CT Skills said
“CT Skills were delighted to be awarded the Tender for Inspired to Care and to partner with DWP to support their recruitment drive for Care Workers. These roles are integral to our ability as a provider to support many unemployed people into sustainable jobs. During the pandemic our tutors have transitioned into a fully remote delivery offer with daily tutor-led training and support sessions which are bespoke to Inspired to Care. We have seen great success with a number of candidates successfully securing jobs through Inspired to Care.”
Councillor Richard Blunt, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for adult social care, said:
“It’s a real boost for the Inspired to Care programme that the Secretary of State has been able to see at close quarters the work which is going on to recruit people into a variety of adult social care roles. The involvement of the Secretary of State in the session with a group on the first rung of the ladder towards a career in social care can only help to raise the profile of the overall programme.”
The Inspired to Care initiative represents 100s of local employers to fill health and social care vacancies through their SWAP programmes. It will continue to offer the SWAPs on a monthly basis for people in Leicestershire.
To find out more about Sector-based Work Academy Programmes click here.